A former Board Chairman of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) Professor Joshua Alabi has distanced his board from the controversial $72m Operational Business Suite (OBS) contract awarded by the Trust.
According to Prof. Alabi, his board took over after the contract had already been signed by the previous board. He added that he saw nothing wrong with the contract because it had a purpose to serve and would have benefited SSNIT.
“The OBS contract was awarded by the previous board and I cannot blame them much because the system would have helped SSNIT,” Prof. Alabi told Morning Starr host Francis Abban adding “…The SSNIT Board doesn’t control funds. I have not even seen a SSNIT cheque before. As a SSNIT Board Chairman, the allowance that was given me couldn’t even change a car tyre.”
Prof. Alabi added that his board commissioned an audit into the contract when they noticed that there was overspending in the acquisition of the infamous software.
The former Vice Chancellor of the University of Professional Studies, Accra noted that the board only approved the budget for the contract which management had already submitted to the Procurement Authority for approval.
SSNIT settled on a tender that quoted $72 million for the software that is supposed to automate all the core processes in the administration of pension, although it received tenders to undertake the project at much cheaper prices including $9 million.
A tender price of $27,610,792 was initially quoted, but Perfect Business Systems and Silver lake Consortium, the bid winners reviewed to 34, 011,914.21 after the General Services Manager of SSNIT identified arithmetic errors in the tender.
This figure was many times more than what Persol Systems’ – about $4million. Sambus Company Limited presented the second least bid price, $9.8 million.
After the deal between SSNIT and Perfect Business Systems and Silverlake Consortium was sealed in 2012, the cost of the project increased by about $32million.
The exponential addition was attributed to the procurement of additional equipment including servers and flash drivers and headsets.
After investigations the Economic and Organised Crimes Office (EOCO) cited Former Director-General of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust, Ernest Thompson and three others for causing financial loss to the state in the award of the contract.
The other three are former Head of IT Department, Caleb Kwaku Afaglo; former OBS project manager; John Hagan Mensah and Juliet Hasana Kramah of IT company, Perfect Business Systems.
Judge Me By My Works, Not My Wardrobe – Samira Bawumia
Wife of Ghana’s Vice-President, Samira Bawumia says she is least perturbed about social media critics on her choice of clothing.
Rather, she says people should be more concerned about how she is using her position to impact the lives of others.
Mrs Bawumia since the inauguration of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on January 7, 2016, has been an attraction at many public events with her fashion.
She has been criticised by some people who feel her choice of clothing do not reflect her religious leanings as a Muslim and her position as wife of the Vice President.
But in an interview on Accra-based Citi FM Wednesday, Mrs Bawumia noted that instead of paying attention to her wardrobe; she wished that people would rather focus on her work.
“I wish it wouldn’t be the preoccupation…because I’m doing a lot of work that I will rather highlight. I mean if a woman is dressing well there shouldn’t be anything wrong with that. I think we should own our beauty and also make a difference,” she said.
She also noted that her choice of wardrobe is also promoting the business for those who make them and that is something that excites her.
“Sometimes I wear clothes and those who made it for me, their business booms and I’m happy for them because I’m also promoting their industry.”
Nonetheless, she says, such comments only become a bother when they tend to spite her.
“I worry slightly about how sometimes the discourse goes because this politics turns to be sometimes a little vicious. I don’t mind for my own personal saying because if someone I don’t know has an opinion about me [that’s] tough; but I worry about the people I know and how they feel about my interaction with them and for the most time I get a positive response,” she said.
Amissah-Arthur: ‘I Wasn’t Made Useless’ By John Mahama
Former Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur has denied a publication that former President John Mahama rendered him ‘useless’.
The story which was carried by Otec FM reported the former Vice President who was allegedly speaking on the phone to somebody else saying: “need I say more? We all know who was used to relegate me to the background. I don’t need to mention a name for you to decipher who it was, but you are quite aware whom I am referring to. As a matter of fact, I was made redundant”
However in response, Mr Amissah-Arthur said: “I have never had a telephone (or any) conversation remotely resembling what has been written…it’s a figment of people’s imagination and should be treated with the contempt it deserves”.
According to him, he got along very well with former President Mahama and that they ‘had a divine friendship’.
The former President and his Vice are working together as a team to project the interest of the National Democratic Congress towards election 2020.
NPP Youth Attack GHA Office; Chase Out Workers
Workers of the Ghana Highways Authority in the Northern region on Tuesday had to flee for their lives after a youth group affiliated to the New Patriotic Party attacked the directorate over claims that road contracts have been awarded to NDC contractors.
A secretary to the director, Alberta Akorogo who spoke to Starr News stated that an unknown man entered the premises and asked to see the director but he was informed that the director was in Accra for a meeting.
According to Madam Akorogo, the man left only to return a few minutes later with a group of violent people with weapons who assaulted her and other workers of the Highways authority.
She stated that the group claimed that the Highways authority was only awarding contracts to NDC members while NPP members in the region hardly get any contract.
The group allegedly scattered office documents and some very important files after they forced their way into the main offices.
Madam Akorogo was rescued by her colleagues, but Starr News’ Northern regional correspondent Eliasu Tanko reports that the secretary was rushed to the hospital for treatment.
The workers, according to her, had to flee for their lives after the group became agitated and more aggressive.
The workers at the directorate claim that this is not the first time that such an attack has occurred but nobody has been arrested yet. The workers are demanding immediate protection from the security services or will not report for work on Wednesday.
The attack comes weeks after the former regional chairman of the NPP Bugri Naabu admitted sanctioning an attack on a contractor working on drainage in the region claiming that contractor was an NDC member.
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