JOY NEWS’ investigations have revealed, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development single-sourced a 98-million-cedi spraying contract to eleven companies belonging to the Jospong Group of Companies in 2015.
The investigations also uncovered that this contract was awarded at a time government had two spraying contracts with another member of the Jospong Group, Zoomlion, to do the same job. The two Zoomlion contracts covered all the 216 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).
The contract awarded in 2015 for four months, was for fumigation across the country but some of the assemblies say they do not know about the companies which were supposed to undertake the exercise in their localities.
Joy News’ investigative journalist, Manasseh Azure Awuni, who spent the last nine months investigation questionable contracts between the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and the Jospong Group of companies, has been investigating the story in a series titled ‘Robbing the Assemblies’.
Zoomlion Ghana Limited has a long running fumigation or open spraying contract with all the 216 MMDAs in the country. In a year, each district assembly pays GhȻ161,000, every municipal assembly pays GHȻ184, 000 while the Metropolitan assemblies pay GHȻ207,000 each, for the fumigation.
There are Six Metropolitan Assemblies, 55 Municipal Assembliese, and 155 District Assemblies. So in all, Zoomlion is paid GHȻ36.3 million cedis to spray refuse dumps, public toilets and markets to curtail the outbreak of diseases such as cholera.
The Environment Health Officer for Bongo District, Joseph Azure, said what happens is actually open spraying, and not fumigation because “fumigation is spraying in enclosed areas.”
Apart from this contract, Zoomlion has another spraying contract with the Ministry of Health targeted at fighting mosquitoes. This contract is called the Nationwide Mosquito Control Programme (NAMCOP) and it is executed in the assemblies.
Joy News has discovered that despite these two spraying contracts, the Local Government Ministry signed another contract worth 98-million cedis in 2015 with 11 companies to spray public toilets, dump sites and markets, which the existing Zoomlion contract was also expected to do.
The companies were awarded the contract under the single source procurement method.
In a document sighted by Joy News, then Local Government Minister Collins Dauda, used urgency as justification for the sole-sourcing.
The eleven companies given the contract are:
1. Northern Region: Savannah Waste Services Limited – GHȻ7, 254, 021
2. Central Region: Coastal Waste and management Services Ltd – GHȻ 7,653,389
3. Ashanti Waste and Environmental Services Ltd–Ashanti Region – GHȻ 14, 485, 569
4. Bono Ahafo Region: B A Waste and Allied Services – GHȻ 9,370,969
5. Western Region: Western Waste and Environmental Services Ltd – GHȻ 11, 697,489
6. Volta Region: Volta Waste Limited – GHȻ 6, 455, 529
7. Eastern Region: ABL Environmental Engineering Ltd – GHȻ 9,437,205
8. Upper Eastern Region: Upper East Waste and Environmental Services Ltd – GHȻ 4,971,627
9. Upper West: KS Biosanitation Limited – GHȻ 4,762, 359
10. Tema Zone : Meridian Waste Management Services – GHȻ 6,922,580
11. Accra Zone: Zoomlion Ghana Limited – GHȻ 15,005,291
Total GHȻ98, 016,028.
These companies were to undertake the spraying exercise for a period of seven months, but the assemblies were already paying Zoomlion to undertake the same spraying exercise.
Joy News investigations have revealed that all the 11 companies belong to Joseph Siaw Agyepong of the Jospong Group.
On June 9th 2015, when the Chief Director of the Ministry, C.K Dondieu, wrote to the companies notifying them of the contract, the sector Minister, Collins Dauda, also wrote a letter to the Ministry of Finance, asking for urgent payment.
The letter notifying the companies of the award of the contract stated, “You are hereby required to submit within 28 days after receipt of the Award Letter, a letter of acceptance and Performance Security equivalent to 10% of the contract sum from a Bank or a bond equivalent to 30% of the contract sum from an Insurance Company.”
The letter adds: “Following receipt of the performance security, you will be invited to sign the contract agreement.”
Curiously, however, on that same day this letter was written requiring the 11 companies to satisfy certain requirements before the contract was signed, Collins Dauda wrote a letter to the Ministry of Finance demanding payment.
He indicated in that letter that there was an “urgent” need to release funds to implement the programme, “which has already started in earnest.”
This raises questions on how a contract that was yet to be signed had already started in earnest.
Mr. Dauda and the Ministry of Local Government have declined to comment on the payments and what exactly the companies did.
The Jospong Group has also declined comment. But some assembly officials in whose catchment areas some of the companies were supposed to spray said they have not heard about the names of the companies before.
Savannah Waste Management Limited was supposed to spray the Northern Region. But the Northern Regional Environmental Health Officer, Matthew Djakpa Mumuni said, he did not know about the existence of that company.
Meridian Waste Management Service Limited was in charge of Tema Area and allocated almost seven million cedis to undertake the spraying. The Tema Metropolitan Director of Waste Management, Solomon Noi, said he did not know about the company.
His claims were corroborated by the Environmental Health Director at the Tema Metropolitan Assembly, Wisdom Aditse.
“I have been here since April 2014 but I have not heard about Meridian Waste or any work they have done in the Tema Metropolitan Assembly,” Mr. Aditse said in an interview.