…As Civil Servants Caught Cooking Dubious Multi-Million Dollar Dredging Contract
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Engineers and Planners (E&P), Ibrahim Mahama, has debunked claims by the Minority New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Parliament that, he was using state-owned equipment to carry out a private contract.
His denial, supported by additional information from Alhaji Collins Dauda, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, has rendered the claims of the NPP Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central in the Central Region, as false. Indeed, the loudmouth MP, has since gone into hiding, refusing to justify his earlier claims against Ibrahim Mahama.
Meanwhile, The Herald, has landed names of some individuals including, public servants and private companies, who were scheming to submit a huge budget to government to collect millions of state cash into their private pockets. They are furious that, Ibrahim Mahama’s E&P, opted to dredge the Odaw River at no charge to the state.
The corrupt public servants thus released the documents to politicians and their friends in the media for mischievous purposes especially, to embarrass the Mahama government.
With Kennedy Agyapong running away, came Minority spokesperson on Legal and Constitutional Affairs in Parliament, Joe Osei Owusu, asking President John Mahama, to order his brother to return the earth moving machines that were given to him for dredging of the Odaw drain.
Osei Wusu insists that Ibrahim Mahama, is using the equipment for his own gain, arguing that the said machines which includes, excavators, payloaders and bulldozers were spotted at construction sites of the company.
“They were using it at the road construction site of the company at Tafo and Klagon, the equipment are state assets. They were imported for a specific purpose,” he alleged and just like Kennedy Agyapong, he said he had only seen pictures of the vehicles working at these sites, although they were to go there and verify.
The younger brother of President John Mahama, had confirmed that indeed, the earthmoving equipment belong to the state, but he was using them to dredge the Odaw River at no charge to the state.
He said E&P, was doing the work as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) with their personnel and expertise, and called on other organizations and individuals to support Government in the desilting of other choked drains likely to cause flooding in other parts of the country.
“The Ministry of Local Government gave the equipment to us and I am happy you are here to see the equipment working. It was released for us to help desilt the drain and that is the condition. They are being used for government work,” he said.
The Minority, has accused the President of allowing his brother to use state assets to execute private contracts. They alleged that the earth moving equipment had been branded with the name; Engineers and Planners; a development they described as “suspicious.” But responding to these claims, Ibrahim Mahama, argued that such a professional job cannot be carried out without “putting your name on the equipment.”
Explaining why he branded the equipment in the name of his company, Ibrahim Mahama, stated that, if that was not done, people may steal them and sell its parts. “If government gives me a truck to work with and I don’t put my name on it and the next thing you know, it will be at the magazine and they are selling it and breaking the parts. What do I say to government,” he asked.
According to him, branding equipment with company stickers does not mean ownership; “stickers just mean who is using it and that is why we have put them on it.” I want to stop helping, an unhappy Ibrahim Mahama lamented over the series of allegations leveled against him by some political opponents of his brother, as well as a cross section of the general public. He indicated that despite his good works, his operations are always misinterpreted.
“I wish to stop because a good man is never honored in his own country and that is how I feel,” he complained. He disclosed that since beginning the desilting of the Odaw River, he has always wanted to engage the media for them to inform the public on the extent of work being done. “The work is not easy,” he said, adding that it is high time Ghanaians got together to keep the country clean. “Let’s get together and clean our homes. We can’t be waiting for CONTI to come and say they are going to clean the drain,” he advised. I move earth for a living Mr. Mahama clarified that, he is a contractor who moves earth for a living.
He said, he decided to offer his services to the state at no charge, because he was presently not engaged in any personal contract and since his boys were idle, he chose to use their expertise to desilt the drain. “This is what I do for a living. I move earth and I get paid. If I am idle and waiting for my next job somewhere, and I can offer my service and I can use the boys to be able to do this job for Ghanaians,” what is illegal about this? According to him, it is high time Ghanaians moved away from relying on foreigners all the time to undertake developmental projects within the country.
“Even if the foreigners come, they will hire the services of my boys to do the job so why don’t we start doing it to prevent other lives from being lost and that is why I have taken the initiative.” “I have done many jobs like this but it is likely that you have not heard it…and I am glad that you have come here to see all the equipment that belongs to government working on this job.”
Alhaji Collins Dauda, also denied reports that the Ministry has contracted E&P to desilt the drains at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle.
He said, the government was overwhelmed with the June 3 twin fire and flood disaster, which led to the loss of lives and properties and appealed to organizations and individuals to support it to desilt the drains.
He said this during an inspection of the site with Julius Debrah, Chief of Staff and Ibrahim Mahama, last Friday.
The project, which is being undertaken by E&P, was in response to the appeal made by Government to organizations and individuals to support in clearing the debris of the June 3 disaster and the desilting of the Odaw River.
Alhaji Dauda, explained that E&P was carrying out the project with their personnel and expertise, whiles the equipment is provided by the Local Government Ministry.
He said, the accumulation of sludge at major drains like the Odaw River was one of the major causes that led to the floods in Accra.
The Minister commended E&P for the benevolent work to support Government in the desilting of the drains from the Kwame Nkrumah Circle to the Old Fadama section.
But Speaking on CitiFM’s Eyewitness News on Friday, Joe Wusu, alleged that the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development is aware Ibrahim Mahama, is using the equipment for other purposes.
“Every one of them including the minister [of Local Government] knows that the man was using it for his construction. I know what the minister knows, I know what the minister has tried to do, and I know what the president has subsequently done. They all know. They are now trying to change the story.”
He further stated that, “we need the equipment back and be used for the purpose for which they were procured.”
“We are monitoring the situation and we are getting hints that the president has directed them to return the equipment today so we are monitoring, if nothing changes, we will look for alternative means to make sure that the state’s assets are returned and used for the purpose to which they were acquired,” Joe Osei Wusu assured.