Bank Of Ghana Exposes US$150,000 Nat’l Service Trip

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But Deputy Boss Says Bawumia “Cooked” Lavish Expenditure

Details of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) transfer of the US$150,000 from state coffers to waste for a 3-day workshop at Boston-Massachusetts in the United States of America (USA) by the acting Executive Director of the National Service Scheme (NSS), Mustapha Ussif, together with the Education Minister, Matthew Opoku-Prempeh and nine others, is out.

The BoG, wired the US$150,000 from the accounts of NSS into another account belonging to the Bank of America in New York last week, Tuesday, October 10, 2017, on the orders of Mustapha Ussif for the US trip. This is happening at a time National Service Personnel, have not been paid for two months.

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication code (SWIFT code) used for the international transfer, reveals the Beneficiary Customer Account number as /004632424694 at CITIBANK N.A in New York.

The account Name and address, were also mentioned as SONGHAI LLC8209 SANTA ROSA CT SARASOTA, FL 34243. The purpose of the transaction was also mentioned as Remittance to /RFB/EXEC ED-REAP COHORT 5 PMT FOR TECHNICAL SERVICES FEE.

Also out, is a revelation by the Deputy Executive Directors of NSS, Henry Nana Boakye that, the lavish trip to the US was sanctioned by the Vice–President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, adding the US$150,000, was also paid to Sloan School of Management at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT Sloan) to enable help Ghana, raise funds, while speaking on Kasapa FM.

Equally out, is a further revelation that activities at the National Service Secretariat is at a standstill, because while Mustapha Ussif is in the US, his Deputy in-charge of Finance and Administration, Gifty Oware-Aboagye, is also in Russia.

Sadly, Henry Nana Boakye alias “Nana B” who is in-charge of Operations, has not been reporting to work, but busy with appearances on radio and television, marketing himself to succeed Sammy Awuku, as the National Youth Organiser of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

 Insiders say, all is not well at the National Service secretariat, as management is busing cutting all manners of deals with telecom companies, suppliers, contractors and banks, in a bid to make money into their private pockets, albeit unjustly. They are hardly ever in town, as they are looking for the least opportunity to travel out of the country to spend state money.

Last Monday, The Herald, intercepted some troubling documents from the NSS, revealing how state resources are being blown lavishly by the 7-month old new management.

The documents exposes how the acting NSS boss and former Member of Parliament (MP) for Yagaba/Kubori together with the Education Minister, had taken a whopping US$150,000 from state coffers to waste on a 3-day workshop at Boston-Massachusetts in the United States of America.

The workshop is taking place at Sloan School of Management at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT Sloan) located at 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge.

Interestingly, what took 7,772 kilometers to go and study for three days at US$150,000, is taught at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), which is under the Flagstaff House; the seat of government.

Also in the US with eleven others, includes John Kumah, Chief Executive Officer of National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP) formerly Youth Employment Support (YES).

Apart fromMatthew Opoku-Prempeh, also on the trip are; Kenneth Thompson, Victor Kwame Agyemang, Morgan Fianko Asiedu, Hene Akua Kwapong, Vincent Kwapong, Kwaku Appiah-Adu, Samuel Nii Odai and Kosi Antwiwaa Yankey.

According to The Herald’s information, they left Accra last Thursday night to the US to meet the huge money which had gone ahead of them, minus flight, hotel, food and per diem arrangements. Meaning additional money has been forked out from state coffers to make those payments, aside the US$150,000 which BoG, sent directly to Bank of America in New York.

The Herald is also told that, the delegation is largely made up of outsiders; leaving public servants at the NSS secretariat to wonder what benefits the US$150, 000 trip is to their institution, as the expertise will not be implemented in-house.

This paper also saw a letter sent to John Kumah, informing him about his selection to be on the trip. It was dated May 8, 2017, meaning the trip was planned over months ago.

According to the acting Executive Director, the programme is to equip John Kumah, with leadership skills, governance among others.

GIMPA, which is under the Office of the President, runs the same subjects – leadership skills, governance – at its School of Public Service and Governance here in Accra. This implies they could have gotten the same training done for them at a cheaper cost to the Ghanaian taxpayer, if there’s a need at all.

 An invitation letter from the training institution sent to US Embassy in Accra and dated September 15, 2017, from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) also seen by The Herald, had revealed that some members of the Ghanaian delegation, particularly the Minister of Education, “will only be attending the welcome Reception on Day 0”.

This means Matthew Opoku-Prempeh, has no business traveling to the US, since he has no significant role to play apart from going to eat and drink at the reception.

MIT, further revealed that, “Team Ghana is a member of Cohort 5 of the MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program and is participating in an in-person workshop, entitled MIT REAP Workshop 1”.

The invitation letter signed by MIT REAP’s Programme Manager, Melanie Shumate, disclosed that “the MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program has run successful with over 30 teams from around the world for the past five years”.

It added that “each year since its beginning, we have had participating faculty, government representatives, and business leaders travel to MIT Sloan to attend a three-day workshop which includes presentation by MIT Sloan’s faculty, interactive discussions, project meetings, and tours”.

It is not clear, how many people in the 11-member team, are being trained by the school.

It is also not clear how much the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is charging the Ghanaian team per a member for the training, but it is certain GIMPA here in Ghana with US and Europe trained lecturers and professors, would not have charged US$150, 000 or anything close to that.    

 More to come!

 

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