Minority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has dismissed President John Atta Mills’s oft-claimed accolade of presiding over a corruption-free government, accusing him of superintending over arguably the most corrupt government since the beginning of the Fourth Republic.
In a Citi News interview, the Suame MP claimed the award of government-sponsored road contracts and other development projects have become a major avenue for NDC government officials to loot Ghana’s limited resources. He specifically pointed accusing fingers at the National Procurement Authority for overseeing the award of dubious government contracts around the country.
“The NDC is very corrupt, inspite of pretentions to the contrary. Those of them who were coming to Parliament, begging for alms, all of a sudden they are saying they are building two houses concurrently and (if) you ask them they say ‘oh its my ex-gratia that I invested.’ Where was the ex-gratia when you were coming to Parliament on weekly basis to solicit for alms? We should be truthful,” he said.
The Minority Leader said the former NDC parliamentarians would approach individual sitting members of Parliament and plead for assistance because they had “serious difficulties,” citing their former membership of the House as the basis for asking for assistance “on weekly basis.”
Hon Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu pointed out that about 60% of government revenue is spent on procurement, a major source of corruption, hence the Kufuor administration’s passage of the Procurement Act which set up the National Procurement Authority, designed to check any excesses through the avoidance, as far as practicable, of sole sourcing for government contracts.
However, because the enabling Legislative Instrument has not been passed, it is being abused by officials, with an average of 60 sole sourced contracts approved every two weeks, he claimed.
“The procurement authority [meets] fortnightly. In Kufuor’s time, they approved of 15 sole sourcing contracts one time and it raised eyebrows… Today under Prof Mills, by-weekly when they meet, the average they are approving is 60 sole sourced contracts in Ghana under Prof. Mills.
“Prof Mills as an individual may not be benefiting personally from it, but it’s happening under his charge.”
He explained that when there is open bidding for a contract, the system is more open, transparent and accountable, but sole sourcing is very open to abuse.