Ghana News

Sale of SSNIT hotels: Ablakwa must show if procurement processes were manipulated for Rock City – Ahiagbah

The Director of Communications of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Richard Ahaigbah has told North Tongu Member of Parliament Samuel Okudzeto to demonstrate whether procurement processes were breached in the sale of the hotels belonging to the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) to Agric Minister Bryan Acheampong.

He says Mr Ablakwa must desist from tarnishing the image of Ghana if he cannot show any violation of the procurement process.

“The Ablakwa-led NDC’s interference in a properly conducted international competitive tender sends a negative message to the world that corporate governance and the rule of law processes in Ghana are unreliable.

“Hon. Okudzeto Ablakwa and the NDC must either demonstrate if the procurement processes were manipulated for Rock City or refrain from tarnishing Ghana’s hard-earned reputation as a rule of law investment destination,” he wrote on X.

Mr Ablakwa had earlier said that the Agric Minister was caught in a conflict of interest situation in the move to acquire the hotels.

He said per the records, Bryan Acheampong was a Minister of State when the processes to acquire the hotels started.

“Bryan Acheampong was a minister of state in 2018 in Akufo-addo’s first term, he was minister when this traction began, according to SSNIT. Articles 284, 78 have been breached violently,” he said on the New Day show on TV3 on Wednesday, June 19.

Prior to his comment, Ahiagbah had said that a conflict of interest did not arise in the sale of the hotels Bryan Acheampong for which Ablakwa petitioned the Commission on Huan Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to look into the matter.

Mr Ahiagbah said that conflict of interest does not arise because the process to offload SSNIT’s interests in these hotels started in 2018, 5 years before Bryan Acheampong became the Minister for Food and Agriculture.

Samuel Okudzeto has been raising issues against the move to sell the hotels to Minister of Food and Agriculture Bryan Acheampong.

He has petitioned the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice over this matter.

On Monday, June 18, he also organised a demonstration against the move.

Mr Ablakwa said earlier that “This demonstration becomes absolutely crucial because of the latest intercepted documents, which reveal that SSNIT is proceeding with the transaction despite my CHRAJ complaint and despite the palpable public outrage.”

But in a statement on his X platform reacting to the demonstration, Mr Ahiagbah said “The crux of the matter is the ability of SSNIT or any state institution to fulfill its mandate independently. Hon. Ablakwa’s concern with the hotel transaction is that SSNIT, as an independent institution, should not be allowed to pursue the outcome of the procurement process to offload its shares in the stated hotels because Rock City, which belongs to Bryan Acheampong, won the bid.

“From the records SSNIT has put out so far, the processes leading to the settlement on Rock City have been above board. However, because Bryan Acheampong, the Minister for Food and Agriculture’s company, Rock City, won the bid, it should be scrapped by hook or crook. So, what if another company had won the bid? Would Hon. Ablakwa have accepted that outcome?

“The question of conflict of interest for me does not arise because the process to offload SSNIT’s interests in these hotels started in 2018, 5 years before Hon. Bryan Acheampong became the Minister for Food and Agriculture. Again, the question must be asked: Had SSNIT terminated the procurement process to divest its shares to Rock City between 2019 and 2023 before Bryan Acheampong became a minister, would there have been any concerns or issues of conflict of interest?”

Source: 3news

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