The management of Multimedia, owners of Joy FM, proceeded to issue a press statement waving ethical standards. They put on a torchlight, saying it is “investigating” the Aker Energy payments to Excomsult Media, the private company of their Head of Political Desk, Evans Mensah.
But in the meantime, they don’t believe The Herald newspaper’s claims, because Evans Mensah, had shown them the amounts he received, and was nowhere near the US$125, 000. Curiously, the management of Multimedia, did not mention what Evans told them the amount he got from Aker Energy.
“The home of credible and independent journalism”, again, didn’t find it prudent in the spirit of “ethical standards”, transparency, believability and the integrity of their ongoing probe to speak to the management of The Herald and examine its documents after speaking with Evans Mensah for comparative analysis.
Maybe the management of Multimedia, should engage Evans Mensah and question him on the three Single-sourced contracts in two days, worth US$141K in the heat of the US$1.6 billion GNPC-AKER transaction.
1. Communication and Advertising- 25th August
2. Media Services- 25th August
3. Communication and Advertising-26th August
This brings the total payments to Excomsult to US$212,305.11 for 2021
With the attacks from other workers of Joy FM after the press release, one can safely conclude that their minds are made up and facts and figures from other places, however, sacrosanct will confuse them.
But it must be put on record that, there are strict legal requirements that detailed procurement expenditures by companies like Aker Energy, which should be submitted to Ghana’s Petroleum Commission per the local content law. It is because, these huge sums are surcharged on the future oil production refundable to the prospecting oil company by the state and people of Ghana.
This explains why the procurements should go through competitive tender and justifications provided if some had to be done through single-sourcing as with the Communication and Advertising on 25th August, the Media Services on 25th August and the Communication and Advertising- on 26th August.
Some of these payments were broken into pieces to enable Mr Mensah’s Excomsult Media, circumvent the US$100,000 procurement threshold which requires the Petroleum Commission’s approval before contract per its Local Content Regulations.
As a media house which has existed for the last 13 years and is run by people whose careers span decades, the coordinated and choreographed attacks on us are nothing new. At best, we see them as good feedback to our investigative work, which started in 2021 to demand accountability for and on behalf of the good people of Ghana, something award-winning colleague journalists of the Multimedia empire and Joy FM platform in particular, have unfortunately shut their eyes to, despite our belief in their training, competence and professionalism.
We remain, yours in service to Ghana
Management of The Herald
May 20, 2023