By Classfmonline.com on 2019-04-26 08:54:56
The Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) has described former President John Dramani Mahama’s call on the Akufo-Addo-led government to release buses purchased under MASLOC to members of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), as “unfortunate, misleading and a calculated attempt to dodge the fact that his administration provided a conducive environment for the perpetration of gross administrative anomalies at the centre”...
The Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) has described former President John Dramani Mahama’s call on the Akufo-Addo-led government to release buses purchased under MASLOC to members of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), as “unfortunate, misleading and a calculated attempt to dodge the fact that his administration provided a conducive environment for the perpetration of gross administrative anomalies at the centre”.
Mr Mahama, on a tour of some bus terminals in Accra on Thursday, 18 April 2019, requested that some 350 vehicles, including buses, which were procured in 2016 by the scheme through hire purchase for members of the GPRTU, be released to them.
Mr Mahama said: “The NDC procured some buses under MASLOC but there seem to be some pending issues and the buses are still there. I will like to plead with the government to revisit that issue and ask those in charge to release the buses so that the drivers can use it to convey people around. When the cars are not used, they begin to rot away after lying idle for so long.”
“Another issue raised by the drivers is the insurance. They say the cost of car insurance has gone up. Some of them also mentioned the high cost of spare parts among other things. At the appropriate time, the NDC will come around to discuss the best solutions with you. We will also come and tell you the plans we have for you in 2020 when we are elected”, he added.
The vehicles are not in use due to a disagreement over the prices.
MASLOC, in a statement dated 25 April 2019 in response to Mr Mahama, said: “We state the following in clarification of the facts surrounding the procurement for the said vehicles:
• The Public Procurement Act (PPA) was utterly disregarded and not duly followed during the procurement process
• The vehicles were taken delivery of and commissioned by the former President on the 1st of December 2016 whereas the contract for procurement and supply of the vehicles was executed on the 6th of December, 2016.
• It is also worth noting that the vehicles he referred to are the ones the Finance Minister under his government, Hon. Seth E. Terkper authorised the controller and Accountant General to release an amount of GHS37,000,000.00 on the 5th of December 2016 to enable His then-CEO of MASLOC to pay for a supplier who hadn’t signed a contract with the centre.
• The GPRTU has refused to take delivery of the vehicles solely because of the price. The vehicles have been rendered commercially unattractive due to the erroneous procurement procedure adopted for their purchase. At present, the open market prices for the vehicles are cheaper than the prices at which MASLOC is able to offer them at.
• The absurd procurement process reiterated above have resulted in a loss to the state of approximately GHS23,396,074.48, being the total over-invoicing and deferred tax.
MASLOC would like to point out further the total unjustifiability of the procurement of the vehicles that have been referred to by the former President:
These are but a sliver of the unlawful activities that took place at MASLOC under the former President’s watch with his permission as President that have contributed in stifling MASLOC from executing its mandate. The opportunity is make it clear to him that if he wants to play his politics with important national issues such as this, he should get all his facts right in order to enable him to assess the worthiness for consumption by the people of Ghana.
The new leadership under the current government has been able to negotiate with the supplier from whom the Mahama-led administration bought these vehicles from to reduce their initial price in order to render the vehicles more affordable for the GPRTU and other interested hardworking Ghanaians.
Furthermore, the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has taken pragmatic steps needed to resolve this issue by restructuring the facility in order to make it more affordable for the intended target. It is in this regard that the CEO of MASLOC, Stephen Amoah, has made it clear that the vehicles will be offered back to GPRTU for to exercise their option to purchase before the general public is given the opportunity.
It is our expectation that having provided the former President with the actual facts concerning the mismanagement of the public funds in the procurement of the vehicles, he will see it necessary to take a second look and do what is noble and retract his unfortunate comment. We are an institution that is supposed to help reduce poverty and not to increase the burden on our citizens. MASLOC as an institution has rules governing it and should not be used to act on impulse or without due- diligence for the benefit of a few unscrupulous persons.
We call on the former president to stop the propaganda while we remain focused on fulfilling our key mission of providing micro and small loans for start-ups and small businesses with fast, easy and accessible microcredit and small loans to grow and expand their businesses as well as to enhance job and wealth creation. MASLOC under President Akufo-Addo has seen a major facelift in just two years in stark contrast to the debt-wrapped institution inherited from the Mahama administration.
In the next few weeks, MASLOC has a Micro Finance Institution (MFI) will give a full statement on what we, as an institution, have done so far, and giving updates on all the parameters that are used to measure our progress: Structure, Funds Mobilisation, Disbursements, Recovery, Excess Liquidity Management and Leveraging on Integrated ICT.”
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