The Association of First Contractors Association of Ghana has accused government of being complicit in the matter regarding the botched contract with Ghana First Company Limited (GFCL).
The aggrieved contractors believe the CEO of Ghana First Company Limited, Mr Frank Okuley whom the contractors accused has amassed wealth from them through the Clean Sanitation Project and paid his way out police arrest.
This comes after the contractors executing various automated modern toilet facilities across the country for Ghana First Company Limited under a Public Private Partnership with Government of Ghana called for a forensic audit into the establishment of the company allaying claims of being scammed.
According to the over 130 contractors, the Company deceived them to believe that it had adequate funds to make 60% of the contract sum after a collaborative visit which has been done, however not a penny has been paid to them since executing their part of the contract over the past two years.
Mr Frank Okuley, CEO of Ghana First Company Limited(GFCL)
They say the ineptitude of government and the security agencies to arrest Mr Frank Okuley for the past two years speaks volumes after building 1,486 toilet projects across the country.
Speaking at a news conference in Accra today, the Association’s Secretary, Mr Listowel Atiemo indicated that government, through the Sanitation Ministry and Ministry of Local government used their letterheads to authenticate the clean Sanitation Project contract.
He stressed that government cannot absolve itself from the alleged scam which he indicated has bankrupted most of them whilst others have died for losing all their life earned assets.
“We would like to establish to you members of the Press and the general public the level of government’s involvement in the entire contract and the support given to Ghana First Company Limited a company we know has no previous experience or expertise in the construction and management of solid waste prior to the formulation of alliance in a purported PPP arrangement between government of Ghana through the Local Government and the Sanitation Ministries”, he said.
“…We have in our hands three letters and a letter including two introduction letters and a letter of support making claims of the projects viability and financial status all in support of Ghana First Company which we have learnt do not have any initial investment prior to the award of contract to the unsuspecting public and rather extorted monies from contractors to enrich itself”.
According to Mr. Atiemo, the Association believes that based on these recommendation letters, the District and Municipal Assemblies acted upon the directives of government to execute the agreements between “our good selves and GFCL and further allocated government lands to us (contractors) to construct these project which are numbering over one thousand four hundred and eighty-six(1,486) across the country and spanning from Greater Accra region to the Upper West region.”
“At this juncture, we would like to put on record that the letters and the subsequent agreements signed by the Local Assemblies were what led individual contractors to conclude that the contract was government endorsed and that their due diligence was complete to proceed with contract arrangement of GFCL”, Mr Listowel Atiemo intimated.
He added that the Association cannot fathom why the Sanitation Minister can say on record that the Clean Sanitation Project is purely private affair after the Minister herself had been sighted with the CEO of GFCL Frank Okuley conducting inspections on some of the facilities in Nsawam.
“We want to ask Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development how a private firm was able to obtain two letters from its outfit mandating them to access lands at the local assembly and in some instances demolish existing toilet facility built with tax payers’ money and construct an all new toilet facility without the Ministry knowing anything about it as it is being claimed?” he quizzes.
Mr. Listowel Atiemo indicated questioned government‘s sincerity and honesty for including the projects in the government’s delivery tracker as part of its achievement after denying its involvement in the construction of the GGCL.
Mr Atiemo also expressed worry over the continuous silence of the relevant institutions after the Association petitioned them including the Speaker of Parliament, the Council of State, the BNI, the Presidency, Party functionaries among others to bring Mr Frank Okuley to book and retrieve their monies for them.
The Association is therefore urging the relevant state institutions to intervene and retrieve their monies for them else face their wrath in their next line of action.