Hardly had the fraudulent Agyapa Royalties scandal fronted by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta ebbed than Mr. Ofori-Atta brews another deal worth some US$ 200 million set to explode into the scandal tally of the Minister.
The contract is a curious plan to install surveillance cameras across Accra in what has been named the Accra Metropolitan Area ICT-Enhanced Traffic Management Project. The contract was signed between the Ministry of Roads and Highways and a Chinese company, Beijing Everywhere Traffic & Lighting Tech. Co., Limited as far back as 2012.
The contractors started working on the project in 2019, but under the cover of darkness, the Finance Minister and the Minister of National Security Albert Kan Dapaah today laid an agreement in Parliament on the same project and arm-twisted Parliament to pass it the same day.
In the agreement, the Finance Minister and the Akufo Addo administration had varied the players in the project and have inserted a new company, alleged to be linked to President Akufo Addo’s brother William Akufo Addo aka “Bumpty”.
The new insert is China’s Huawei Technologies Co., Limited (Huawei) which is already facing global scrutiny for seeking to import next-generation technologies worldwide, including intrusive surveillance technologies.
Insiders tell Whatsup News that aside from the true nature of the altered contract, there may be new deals cut with the Akufo Addo administration that will ultimately benefit the usual culprits in the administration personally.
All intercepted documents from the Jubilee House, the Finance Ministry and the original 2012 agreement show that the project is worth US$100 million, however, in a rather curious twist, the Deputy Finance Minister Charles Adu Boahene in a July 4, 2019 document stated that the project was worth US$210.7 million.
“Reference is made to the Subsidiary Agreement dated 3rd April, 2019 between the Republic of Ghana and China Development Bank (CDB) for an amount of US$210,660,000. We are pleased to inform you that Government of Ghana (GoG) has successfully fulfilled all conditions precedents, and the CDB has thus, declared the loan effective.
However, over a year later, on September 28, 2020, when Ken Ofori-Atta wrote to the China Development Bank (CDB) communicating the Akufo Addo government’s decision to insert a Huawei Technologies into the mix and move the mandate of the project into the territory of National Security, the Finance Minister curiously maintained the project cost at US$100 million.
His September 28, 2020 letter was based on an approval he and the National Security Minister had received from the Jubilee House, which also maintained the project cost at US$100 million.
On July 2, 2020, the Nana Asante Bediatuo, the Executive Secretary to President Akufo Addo wrote “ The President has granted executive approval for the Commercial Contract of the Accra Metropolitan Area ICT-Enhanced Traffic Management Project, for an amount of One Hundred Million United States Dollars (US$100,000,000.00), between the Ministry of National Security of the Republic of Ghana and Huawei Technologies Co., Limited (Huawei) and China National Technical Import and Export Corporation (CNTIC), to replace a pending 2012 contract meant to execute a similar project between the Republic of Ghana, acting through the Ministry of Roads and Highways and Beijing Everyway Traffic & Lighting Tech Co., Limited of China.”
Afterwards, Ken Ofori-Atta communicated the insertion of Huawei into the project to the General Manager of CDB, Mr. Zhang Yifan. He wrote: “Referring to the above subject with respect to your letter of March 3, 2020, an Executive Approval has been obtained from the Presidency to change the Owner and EPC contractor of the Accra Metropolitan Area ICT-Enhanced Traffic Management Project from Ministry of Roads and Highways and Beijing Everywhere Traffic & Lighting Tech. Co., Limited to the Ministry of National Security and Huawei Technologies Co. Limited (Huawei) and China National Technical Import and Export Corporation (CNTIC).”
The antics of the Akufo Addo administration in this deal has already triggered questions in Ghana’s legislature.
In the next Parliamentary sitting, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for the Adaklu Constituency in the Volta Region, Kwame Governs Agbodza is scheduled to quiz the Minister for Roads and Highways Kwasi Amoako-Atta about the deal that smacks of another scandal.
This is not the first time the Akufo Addo administration had used Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta as a conduit for varying existing contracts in suspicious circumstances that had turned out to have personally benefitted family and friends of the President.
Similar antics had played out in Ken Ofori-Atta’s failed attempt to capture the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG0 through the fraudulent PDS deal.
Also, the insertion of Quad Energy into the controversial Aker Energy deal was one episode that turned out that owners of Quad Energy were lackeys of Ken Ofori-Atta.
Another similar move was with the Exxon Mobil deal in the rich offshore crude oil fields where the Akufo Addo administration suddenly kicked out Griffon Energy Africa Limited (“Griffon”) owned by Ghanaian mining tycoon, Sir Sam Jonah, and inserted GOIL into the mix.
As it turned out, GOIL’s shareholders include Ken Ofori-Atta, through his private companies, Databank Asset Management Services Ltd and the pension fund Elac Policy Holders Fund.
The latest botched economic coup d’etat was the Agyapa Royalties deal where Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu has stated unequivocally that Ken Ofori-Atta fraudulently inserted himself through his Databank Financial Services in a deal that would have ceded control of Ghana’s mineral royalties worth over US$ 2.5 billion.