Government admits President Mahama received car gift but denies conflict of interest
The Government of Ghana has refuted the implication of conflict of interest by a Joy FM investigation which found that President John Mahama was gifted a car by a Burkinabé contractor who is alleged to have won a contract unduly.
According to the investigative story by Manasseh Azure Awuni, Djibril Kanazoe who won a contract to construct a wall over a piece of land belonging to the Ghana Embassy in Burkina Faso, was the giver of a brand new 2010 Ford Expedition as a gift to President John Mahama.
The contract for the wall whose cost reached $656,246.48 and reportedly described as “outrageous” by the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament, is believed by persons close to the project, to have been won unduly by Kanazoe for whom the procurement process was breached.
The Burkinabé contractor also won a €25.9 million contract for the Dodo Pepeso-Nkwanta road.
But reacting to the broadcast on the morning of Wednesday June 15, Communications Minister Edward Omane Boamah in a statement, admitted receipt of the car by the President but said it had nothing to do with the contracts.
“The said vehicle, which was placed in the vehicle pool at the Presidency as per established convention had nothing to do with the award of the contracts. The inference of conflict of interest is therefore absolutely false and untenable,” the statement said.
According to the minister, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration which did not yield information to the journalist, gave the following companies’ quotations for the wall, forwarded from Ghana’s embassy in Burkina Faso:
KANAZOE FRERES: 353,136,603 CFA
COSITRAP: 413, 177, 892 CFA
IBOUS: 462, 608, 949 CFA
Kanazoe Freres which presented the lowest cost according to the Communications Minister, was then awarded the contract after due diligence. “There was no involvement whatsoever of the President in the processes leading up to the award of this contract. Any suggestion therefore to the contrary is palpably false and untenable,” the statement said.
The minister said construction works on the 673-metre wall involved:
- Removal of topsoil, clearing of existing rice farm and compensation forowners in accordance with Burkinabe Laws.
- Reinforced concrete wall with an overall thickness of 300mm and an average height of 220mm above ground and 80mm below ground.
- The mid-section of the wall involved a reinforced 12mm diameter high tensile steel at 450mm centers both ways
- Construction of security posts with visitors waiting area among others.
On the Dodo-Pepeso road, the statement said the contract for the road funded by the European Union, resulted from international competitive bidding in compliance with the requirements of the EU.
By Emmanuel Odonkor
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