Former Head of Policy Monitoring and Evaluation at the Presidency, Dr. Tony Aidoo, is angry over what he sees as ‘crony capitalism’ within President John Dramani Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration.
The ambassador-designate said he felt embarrassed by the scandal engulfing the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP), now Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA) under his own government.
“I feel very embarrassed as I sit here because for over eight years I was one of the voices that berated the Kufour (Former President) administration for crony capitalism and today I see evidence of it in an NDC administration,” he told Joy FM, an Accra-based radio station on Monday .
“It should not have happened in the first place,” he fumed.
Dr. Aidoo recalled the NDC in its 2008 manifesto pledged to establish a monitory and evaluation system as a means to achieve accountability and followed it up with setting up a unit, saying, “The National Youth Employment Programme that became GYEEDA is one of the units that never ever submitted one data.”
He said constant reminders did not yield any result and there was no political muscle to ensure that people delivered.
“The warning signals that could have come with adequate data, analysis of the data and reportage to the Presidency that this is what is going on was totally absent,” he said.
A Minister’s Defence
A Deputy Minister of Information, Murtala Mohammed, has described as ‘disheartening’ the hauling of his former boss Abuga Pele to court for causing financial loss to the state in the GYEEDA scandal.
He is currently before the Financial Court in Accra, presided over by Justice Afia Asare-Botwe, charged with willfully causing financial loss to the state to the tune of GH¢3, 330,568.53.
The NDC Member of Parliament (MP) for Chiana-Paga was accused of aiding one Philip Akpeena Assibit, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Goodwill International Group (GIG) to defraud the State of the said amount equivalent to USD1, 948,626.68.
The two have denied the charges and are currently on bail.
Murtala Mohammed, who was once a deputy to Abuga Pele during the NYEP days, said that it was ‘sad’ that things had turned out that way.
He wrote on his Facebook page that: “Whatever the case is, I have no doubt whatsoever in the independence of our judiciary to dispense justice at all times.
“In as much as I can’t and I wouldn’t stand in the way of justice, transparency and accountable governance, particular the enormous commitment shown by this government in fighting corruption and trying to expunge it from the annals of our political and governance system as a sovereign state, I believe I can state without any equivocation that Hon Abuga Pele gave his all to see (to) the success of the programme he managed as the leader for barely 4 years”.
Create and Loot
However, Franklin Cudjoe, the founding President of Policy think tank, IMANI Ghana, described the GYEEDA programme as ‘vehicles to siphon money’ from the state.
“Clearly there was no competitive playing field, these were projects that were cooked and then handed over to people,’’ he to the Accra-based Citi FM on Saturday.
According to him, there were no competition and transparency in the GYEEDA modules. He went ahead to describe the programme as a ‘charade’.
The IMANI boss noted that the government appeared to be treating Ghanaians as “toddlers” as far as the GYEEDA issue was concerned.
“The reasons why we are evidently angry is that we are being treated like toddlers…’’ he said.
The Big Guys
Richard Nyamah, Chairman of Young Patriots, a youth group within the NPP says he is not enthused by government’s decision to be selective in the prosecution of officials cited in the GYEEDA scandal.
“I wasn’t satisfied then and I’m not satisfied now; I think the President would have to do more,” he told Citi FM.
He said it would serve the country better if the government set its eyes on what he called the ‘big fishes’ involved in the scandal.
“The quantity of money we are talking about is in excess of GH¢200million; Mr Abuga Pele and the company we are talking about here is about GH¢5 million, we have some GH¢195million that is not being accounted for,’’ he said.
Mr. Nyamah questioned what had happened to the then Minister of Youth and Sports, Clement Humado, whom he claimed signed most of the GYEEDA contracts.
“You have Honourable Clement Humado who is also a Member of Parliament who signed off all these contracts; if today we are saying that those contracts were fraudulent, I think the person who signed the contracts in the name of the government has engaged in fraud… But if Mr Humado is not being hauled before the court for signing contracts in excess of GH¢200 million, then Abuga Pele is a small one,” he reiterated.
Source: William Yaw Owusu/Daily Guide
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