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Monday, 13 July 2009

Ghana:Bagbin & Ayariga Scramble For Gov't Cars

Mahama Ayariga

NEW. Watch live television from Ghana, the latest Ghanaian movies and OBE TV.After flogging NPP over state vehicles

… Purchase Kubalo tractors for GH¢18,000
EVEN BEFORE the government establishes the veracity or otherwise of the huge allegations against the Minister of Youth and Sports, Hon. Alhaji Muntaka Mubarak, The Chronicle can authoritatively reveal massive loot involving nicodemous sale of state vehicles to government officials at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture. Information from a deep throat source at the Ministry has exposed how state vehicles are being secretly sold to some high prominent officials of the current government at relatively cheaper prices.

The top government officials involved in the clandestine purchase of state vehicles as uncovered by the paper include the Majority Leader of Parliament and MP for Nadowli West, Hon. Alban S.K Bagbin, the Presidential Spokesperson, Hon. Mahama Ayariga, the NDC Member of Parliament for Salaga, Hon. Alhaji Ibrahim Dey Abubakar and one Mr. Iddrisu Alhassan of Walewale, in the Northern Region.

Series of corresponding letters written and signed by the Chief Director and his deputy at the Ministry, Ing. J.K Boamah and G. K. A. Brantuo respectively, to these government officials approving the sale of the various vehicles under the instructions of the sector Minister, also directed the beneficiary personalities to deposit the various amounts of monies into 2KR-2007 Account, at the Bank of Ghana, Accra.

A letter dated March 24, 2009, written and signed by the Chief Director at the Ministry and addressed to the Presidential Spokesperson, Hon. Mahama Ayariga, copies of which are available to the Minister, the Regional Director of MOFA, the Regional Engineer, MOFA, and the District Director of the Ministry at Bawku, and headlined: ALLOCATION OF ONE (1) KUBOTA TRACTOR WITH MATCHING IMPLEMENTS reads. “I have the pleasure to inform you that the Hon. Minister of Food and Agriculture has approved for sale one Kubota Tractor with matching implements to you. The total cost of the package is EIGHTEEN THOUSAND GHANA CEDIS. You are required to make an initial down payment of GH¢10,000 before taking delivery and the balance of GH¢8,000 is to be paid in three installments over a period of three years, starting from the date of delivery of the package to you. The installment are to be paid as follows:1st year-GH¢4,000, 2nd year-GH¢2,000 and 3rd year-GH¢2,000 with a directive that all initial payment and subsequent installment payments should be strictly by Banker’s Draft, payable to Underprivileged farmers -2KR-2007.

The Chief Director’s letter to the Presidential Spokesperson noted that the validity of the offer was 4 weeks, after which date it would be assumed that he is no more interested in the offer and the tractor would be re-allocated to other applicants.

A receipt dated April 15, this year, acknowledging the payment and receipt of an amount of GH¢10,000 from Hon. Mahama Ayariga, by the Chief Director, had been sighted by the paper.

In the same vein, a letter dated March 6, 2009, written and signed by the Deputy Chief Director of MOFA, Mr. G. K. A. Brantuo, on behalf of his boss and addressed to the Majority Leader, Hon. Alban S. K. Bagbin, also confirms the allocation of one Kubota tractor with matching implements to the Majority Leader, at the same amount per the same mode of payment.

A similar letter dated the same day and signed by Mr. Brantuo also approved for the sale of one John Deere 5403 tractor without harrow to one Mr. Iddrisu Alhassan at the cost of GH¢16,075.00 (Sixteen Thousand Seven- Fifty Ghana cedis) under similar conditions of payment.

Yet, another letter by the MP for Salaga, Hon. Alhaji Ibrahim Dey Abubakar and dated March 12, 2009, requested for 3 Kubota tractors with two sets of implement on the terms of one hand half down payment and the balance spread over a period of two years.

“My constituency is basically a farming one with most of the people lacking services of tractors. The acquisition of the tractors will not only enable me to farm, but also assist the peasant farmers with its services,” the letter noted.

The Chief Director of MOFA, acting upon the instructions of the Minister, has also directed all Regional Directors of the Ministry to first receive an approval from the national headquarters before the final issue of any facility.

Meanwhile, investigations by the paper has revealed that the tractors, which are now being sold at cheaper prices to some officials of the current government, were brought into the country from India by the previous administration under the instrumentality of MP for Dome-Kwabenya, Prof. Mike Oquaye, who was a former High Commissioner to India, as part of efforts by the previous government to assist farmers in the country.

A deep throat source within the Ministry has also hinted the paper that other top personalities of the ruling party (names withheld) have allegedly also benefited from the deal.

Meanwhile, the Majority Leader Alban Bagbin has confirmed the allocation of the Kubata tractor to him by the Agric Ministry. Speaking the paper in a telephone interview, the Nadowli West MP said he put in an application for two of the tractors after his attention was drawn to the sale of the vehicles by his colleague MP for Ejura-Sekyedumase, Hon. Yusif Mohammed Pangabu.

Mr. Bagbin noted that his main reason for acquiring the tractor was to enable him offer assistance to various farmers’ group in his constituency, who are engaged in commercial farming.

He claimed there was nothing fishy about the deal because the tractors were put up publicly for sale, adding that similar purchases had been made by some of his colleague MPs and interested farming groups.

The MP would, however, not comment on the price of the vehicles, saying he was only informed in writing about the price and he saw nothing wrong with the negotiation.

Presidential spokesperson, Hon. Mahama Ayariga on his part told The Chronicle that there was nothing illegal as far as the acquisition of the tractors were concerned and that he went through due process in acquiring them.

According to him, he bought the tractors to help poor farmers in his constituency by giving them subsidized fees for ploughing. He said whilst tractors owned by private individuals charged GH¢250 for ploughing an acre of land, he had instructed his people to charge only GH¢100 per acre.


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