General News of Thursday, 2 June 2016
A former Minister of Energy in the erstwhile Kufuor administration Mr. Joseph Kofi Adda has denied causing financial loss to the state in the One Hundred and Nine Million United States Dollars (US$109,000,000) by the Government of Ghana through the Bulk Oil and Storage (BOST) company.
In reaction to some media publications on the matter, the former Navrongo Central Legislator said the negligence and incompetence of the NDC leadership in 2009, driven by greed and corruption that delayed the project’s full-scale implementation.
Read his Full Reaction Below:
SUBJECT: BOST/ AT&V PROJECT – ALLEGATIONS OF FINANCIAL LOSS BY KUFUOR AND EX-MINISTER. NDC CORRUPT DEMANDS AND NEGLIGENCE DELAYED BOST PROJECT
My attention has been drawn to a radio program on Adom FM hosted this morning by one Capt. Smart on a matter which was the subject of a Public Accounts Committee hearing ,and subsequently published in the 1st to 2nd June 2016 issue of the Herald newspaper. Among other things, the discussion was based on an alleged case of financial loss attributed to former President Kufuor, his administration and myself as the then Minister of Energy in which the American Tank and Vessel (AT&V) company was reported to have been paid all project funds amounting to One Hundred and Nine Million United States Dollars (US$109,000,000) by the Government of Ghana through the Bulk Oil and Storage (BOST) company. The discussion, facilitated by Capt. Smart, gave ample and uninterrupted time to one Mr. Agbesi Notsu, NDC Parliamentary Candidate for Afadzato who sought to malign and impugn my character and likened me to Mr. Alfred Agbesi Woyome who is widely known to have duped the government of funds which he was not entitled to.
I wish by this Press Release, to react as follows:
That there has not been any Financial Loss whatsoever caused by the Kufuor administration, nor myself as Minister because the project was duly executed, outputs delivered and not all funds were paid by the Kufuor administration. It was the negligence and incompetence of the NDC leadership in 2009, driven by greed and corruption that delayed the project’s fullscale implementation. From my sources, the NDC leadership at the time, made demands which the American company would not give in to because it made it emphatically clear that the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of the USA did not permit bribery and corruption. Besides, the company also emphasized that the NPP government did not make such demands when the project was being conceptualized and the funding negotiated, so why should the NDC leadership demand such bribes.
The newspaper publication and the discussion also stated that no work had been done whatsoever, yet all the funds had been paid to AT&V. – To the contrary, I wish to make it clear here, that materials for the fabrication of the tanks were procured, the tanks fabricated and subsequently installed here in Ghana at Kpone, near Tema. One may wish to visit the site to ascertain its veracity. Additionally, the materials for the pipelines were also procured and the pipes fabricated and have been held in a warehouse at Houston, Texas in USA for years now, but the NDC government would not allow the company to bring them to Ghana unless their selfish and corrupt demands are met.
That monies were paid in full to AT&V – As a sitting Minister, the only release made under my watch for that particular project was done in November 2007, to cover the matching fund requirement of Thirteen Million and Nine Hundred Thousand United States Dollars (US$13,900,000.00) to make the project active.
Out of this amount, AT&V only received Ten Million United States Dollars (US$10,000,000.00) as mobilization while the balance went to cover various fees. All subsequent payments were made after I had left office by March 2008; such other payments in Kufuor’s era being made by my successor were in April 2008 (US$8,000,000.00) and in October 2008 (US$9,000,000.00).
That the total payments made under the Kufuor administration for the execution of this project amounted to only Thirty Million and Nine Hundred Thousand United States Dollars (US$30,900,00.00) and not the full cost of the project being One Hundred and Nine Million United States Dollars. (US$109,000,000.00) intended for the contract.
That the subsequent payments amounting to US$79.9 million that were reported to have been made in addition to the US$30.9 million paid by October 2008 were made by the NDC Mills/Mahama governments but not the NPP Kufuor administration.
If the NDC government has been in power since 2009, or up to the time of the Audit, why did Prof. Mills and John Mahama not take measures to block any further payments to prevent any financial loss to the state for all these years. Why did the NDC not ensure that the pipes were shipped to Ghana when they were completed? If there is any financial loss then the NDC BOSS Board and Management as well as the NDC government are liable.
On the matter of Mr. Agbesi Notsu and his comparison of the BOST and AT&V project to the Alfred Woyome Scandal, the least said about him the better. To me, his statements clearly betray his ignorance and total lack of appreciation of the relevant issues.
The BOST/AT&V engagement was a project funded by two sovereign governments supported by a duly signed contract and approved by the Parliament of Ghana.
The funding was provided by the US EXIMBANK and facilitated by a recognized and widely-known major global bank CitiBank which did all payments.
I was not a consultant, nor a financial engineer, nor did I or my company stand to benefit, and so no payments were made to my account or that of my company.
That my relief from the Energy Ministry was as a result of a reshuffle and not due to the BOST project. The project was conceived since 2003 long before I became a Ministry.
In conclusion, considering the lack of professionalism exhibited by the host in allowing Agbesi to run me down, and judging from his handling of the entire discussion, I cannot but have to believe that the two men were paid by one who has an ax to grind against President Kufuor, the NPP and myself, but that they have no good intentions to help save Ghana. All Ghanaians should see in Agbesi Notsu, the total ignorant, uneducated, corrupt and mischievous caliber of people that the NDC seeks to bring to Parliament to legislate for us.
Joseph Kofi ADDA