Gov’t reacts to vehicle gift to Prez. Mahama

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prezzGovernment has confirmed that a Burkinabe contractor offered a vehicle as a gift to President John Dramani Mahama in 2012 and explained that the said vehicle has been placed in the vehicle pool at the Presidency as per established convention.

Responding to a media report by Joy FM that the presentation of the gift amounted to conflict of interest and influenced the award of two contracts to the said contractor, the government said that had nothing to do with the award of the said contracts.

Joy FM on Wednesday published that the Burkinabe contractor, Mr Djibril Kanazoe, has revealed he gave President John Mahama, a 2010 Ford Expedition vehicle as a gift in 2012.

The Joy FM report written by Manasseh Azure Awuni alleged that Mr Kananzoe used undue influence to get contracts and paid bribes to some Ghanaian officials, an allegation he has denied.

It said Djibril Kanazoe is the contractor who built the $650,000 Ghana Embassy fence wall in Burkina Faso and also the only African contractor who won part of the contract on the Eastern Corridor Road Project, one of the biggest road projects in Ghana.

The report went ahead to quote Article 284 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana which states that, “A public officer shall not put himself in a position where his personal interest conflicts or is likely to conflict with the performance of the functions of his office.”

From Section 21(b) of the new Conduct of Public Officers Bill, 2013, presented by cabinet to Parliament, the Joy FM report concluded that the presentation of the gift to President Mahama was therefore inappropriate.

Section 21 (b) states that a public officer may not “ accept a gift, favour or an advantage that has the potential to influence the proper discharge of the public officer’s functions or judgment, from a person with whom the public officer comes into contact in relation to the public officer’s functions.”

But in a response, government disagreed with the report which it said sought to link the presentation of the vehicle to the president to the two contracts awarded to the contractor and insisted that the inference of conflict of interest was “absolutely false and untenable”.

Below is a copy of the statement signed and issued by the Minister of Communications, Dr Edward Omane Boamah on behalf of government

MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS REFUTES FALSE CLAIMS AGAINST PRESIDENT MAHAMA

The Ministry of Communications has noted the contents of a programme aired on Joy FM this morning. The programme sought to link a vehicle presented to the President in 2012 to two contracts awarded to a Burkinabe-owned construction firm.

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 FACTS:
CONSTRUCTION WORKS AT GHANA EMBASSY, BURKINA FASO

The processes for the construction of a perimeter fence wall on a large parcel of land allocated to the Government of Ghana began in 2011, prior to President John Mahama becoming President. The scope of construction works on the 673.0 meters long fence wall involved:

• Removal of topsoil, clearing of existing rice farm and compensation for owners 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 and

• Construction of security posts with visitors waiting area among others.
Ghana’s mission in Burkina Faso forwarded three quotations from construction companies to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration for consideration. The quotations from the respective companies were as follows:

• KANAZOE FRERES: 353,136,603 CFA

• COSITRAP: 413, 177, 892 CFA

• IBOUS: 462, 608, 949 CFA

Issued in Accra on Wednesday June 15, 2016

The Architectural Engineering Services Limited (AESL) provided pre- and- post contract consultancy services in terms of architectural, structural, land surveying, quantity surveying services leading to preparation of technical specification, bills of quantities and tender documents, evaluation of tenders, award of contract and supervision of selected contractor to execute the construction works.

Upon due diligence, the contract was awarded to KANAZOE FRERES, who presented the lowest figure among the three companies.

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 46.4km EUROPEAN UNION FUNDED DODO-PEPESU ROAD CONTRACT

The award of this contract was the result of an international competitive bidding process which was in compliance with laid down requirements of the European Union.

There was absolutely no involvement of the President in the processes leading to the award of this contract.

Again, any suggestion of conflict of interest in the award of this contract is without merit.

The President remains committed to transparency and accountability in governance and has worked over the past years to make that a cornerstone of his administration.

That commitment is unwavering.

-Graphic

ABOUT: Nana Kwesi Coomson

[email protected]

A Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A contributory writer for Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morgan

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