By Severious Kale-Dery / Daily Graphic / Ghana
The Government has signalled its determination to stem corruption in the country, with the termination of all contracts between the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA) through the Ministry of Youth and Sports on one hand and its service providers, on the other.
Rlg Communications’ training module, the Asongtaba Cottage Industry and Exchange Programme (ACI&EP) and the Better Ghana Management Services Limited, a subsidiary of Jospong Group, the parent company of Zoomlion, are some of the casualties.
The service providers signed the contracts on July 23, 2012 with the Ministry of Youth and Sports and GYEEDA to provide services for GYEEDA.
Copies of the termination letters made available to the media and signed by the Chief Director of the ministry, Alhaji Abudulai Yakubu,indicated that the letters were addressed to the chief executive officers of the service providers.
It said that “On the basis of the agreement reached between the Ministry and the Company at the said meeting(s), I am directed to officially convey to you government’s decision to discontinue or terminate the contract with immediate effect”.
The letters were dated January 9, 2014 and copied to the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, the Minister of the Youth and Sports and the Executive Director of GYEEDA.
“You are hereby requested to kindly continue to have engagements with the Attorney General’s Department and the Ministry of Justice on your liabilities to GYEEDA and ensure the refund of same to government,” the letter further stated.
Committee and recommendations
The Government’s decision followed public outcry over the financial impropriety and malfeasance committed by the service providers. Subsequently, an investigative committee was set up by the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, to look into the concerns raised.
The committee, at the end of its investigation, made a number of recommendations, including the cancellation of some contracts it felt should never have been awarded in the first place. The report further recommended that the companies refund some money to the state.
The President assured Ghanaians that the government would implement the recommendations of the report to the letter after due diligence.
A source at Rlg Communications Ltd said three companies under the AGAMS Group had been affected and listed them as the Asongtaba Cottage Industry & Exchange Programme, the Rlg Communications Training Module and the CraftPro Ltd. The source indicated that it was not the Rlg Communications Training Module that would be grossly affected, but the thousands of beneficiaries made up of young people, who were taking advantage of the module to pursue ICT education.
“What is the fate of the thousands of young people lining up to take advantage of the training that we offer,” the source queried and said since 2006, more than 50,000 young people had benefited from the training.
The source also said as a responsible company, Rlg had cooperated with the government and all the agencies involved in resolving the issue since the issue came up, and said the company had taken note of the directive.
It also said Rlg Communications Ltd, according the report, had been asked to refund GH¢55 million as overpayment and explained that on the aspect of service providers being paid for no work done, “It is GYEEDA that is supposed to provide the people to be trained and if the service providers are not given the people to train, that cannot be their fault.”
When the Jospong Group of Companies was contacted, an official said the information had not been made available to him and that he was outside Accra so he would study the development when he returned before he could make a comment.
Commenting on the termination, Mr Afriyie Ankrah said it took immediate effect and explained that before the termination, the ministry had had a series of discussions with the service providers and that currently there were no beneficiaries undergoing training.
He also President Mahama had directed that “We pay the beneficiaries to exit to enable us to start on a clean sheet,” adding that no service provider could therefore, claim to be providing training for the beneficiaries.
Giving the background, Mr Afriyie Ankrah said, for instance, when the GYEEDA programme was established in 2006, it had no legal backing and it had so many loopholes in its administrative and management structures.
He wondered why a programme with such huge numbers could operate manually and was hopeful that the termination would enable GYEEDA to put in place all the necessary structures, including a biometric system, to ensure that “We are paying only those under the programme.”
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