The Minister of Education, Dr. Yaw Adutwum, has denied claims of a “create, loot, and share” scheme in the contract to procure and supply laptop computers to some pre-tertiary school teachers across the country, pointing fingers, rather, at his predecessor Mathew Opoku Prempeh as the one under whose watch the deal happened.
A statement from the Ministry in reaction to a MyNewsGh.com publication November 2021, said we “deliberately misrepresented” the facts regarding the procurement and supply of laptops for pre-tertiary teachers but rather in any case, it was procured on sole sourcing basis under Mathew Opoku Prempeh, the former Education Minister now at Energy.
The Education Minister stating this in his response was an attempt to hoodwink unsuspecting members of the public that he is newbie at the MoE, when in actual fact, he was Mathew Opoku Prempeh’s Deputy for 4 years.
The Ministry which has committed government to pay 70% of the cost of the laptop explained that it had little to do with the murky deal but that in September 2020, the leadership of the three teacher Unions with membership strength of 350,000 sought funding support from the government through the Ministry of Education (MoE) for the procurement and distribution of 350,000 laptop computers for its members.
While there is no available record of the transaction with the PPA with information about the deal hidden like a National Security “top secret” following chop chop allegations, the MOE claims request for approval to use Single-Sourced procurement process to engage KA Technologies Ghana Limited for the supply of the laptop computers was made on the 17th of November 2020 by the then Minister for Education Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh” some three weeks to the 2020 election. No evidence of same is provided or even available at PPA so far.
Under Mathew Opoku Prempeh, the cost of the laptops which has a mere Celeron 1.0 speed processor, a 4GiG Ram among others is believed to have been inflated by more than 300% according to two teacher unions who are in court, and who are also protesting the fact that the laptop cost will be deducted from the Professional Development allowance of Ghanaian teachers against their will.
Indeed, the company K.A. Technologies, just like its counterpart which got a contract to supply 853,000 mathematical sets at Ghc75 each, got an easy contract to supply the 350,000 laptops at a cost of Ghc1,500 (later inflated to Ghc1,851), a charge the Ministry denied, distancing itself from the deal in which it is committing government to pay 70% of the cost. The Ministry said the company at the center is not a new company but is an old company with a new name.
The Ministry of Education in its response however failed to address the fact that the Mandatory Eligibility Criteria set forth in Section III (C) of the procurement of the Information Technology Product document issued by the Public Procurement Authority was not met by K.A Technology Ltd. before grabbing the half a billion contract, even if it were an old company as claimed.
The Ministry also failed to state whether it has investigated and is satisfied with K.A Technology which claims to be the actual manufacturer of the Teachers Mate 1 (TM1) laptop but failed to obtained clearance from the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) to certify the quality standard and durability of the laptop it is supplying and to confirm whether the laptops are being indeed produced in Ghana or being imported from China surreptitiously but branded “Made in Ghana” and at what cost.
The GSA certification is more important especially when the Education Ministry bypassed brands like Dell, Samsung, Toshiba, Acer, HP, Lenovo and other established brands with reputation for producing quality laptops. As at today, 21st November, 2021 that has not been done. MyNewsGh.com is reliably informed the company is now trying to obtain a certification after a first batch has already been distributed.
The same K.A Technology was revealed to have unlawfully obtained a tax clearance certificate to facilitate its legitimization of the dubious sole contract it was awarded, something the MoE refused or failed to address as further checks from SSNIT revealed the company only recently obtained a certificate from the state company- neither is the company itself addressing this.
The Ministry runs away from the deal
It is interesting for the Education Ministry to claim lack of ownership and push the deal to the teachers Unions of GNAT and NAGRAT, CCT given that government is paying 70% of the cost while these Unions’ members pay only 30%. Wouldn’t be in government interest to ensure value for money?
”An approval to use Single-Sourced procurement method to engage KA Technologies for the supply of the computers at a unit cost of GHS 1550 by Section 40(1) (d) of Act 663 as amended was communicated to the Ministry in a letter dated 20th November 2020″ the statement noted.
It continued that, “Consequently an MOU was signed between the Ministry of Education, the Teacher Unions and KA Technologies Ghana Ltd towards the acquisition and supply of the laptop computers”.
It said, “originally called NSV Ghana Limited, KA Technologies Ghana Limited is an indigenous private limited liability Company duly registered and incorporated in Ghana under the Companies Act 1963, Act 179 on the 19 days of October 2016. The company had a change of name by a Special Resolution and with the approval of the Registrar of Companies on the 13h day of May 2020”.
“The company is primarily into the supply, maintenance, and repair of ICT devices as well as provision of technical training and development in the application of same” the statement added.