Former Deputy Minister, 5 others accused of incurring $380,000 NSA debt

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Two members of a procurement committee formed during the All Africa Games in 2015 have called for the sanction and surcharge of the former Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, Vincent Oppong Asamoah, and five others, for wilfully violating the Procurement Act, 2002 and incurring a judgment debt of $380,000 and GHC45,000 being awarded to Litina Travel and Tours.

“If this issue is not investigated and culprits appropriately sanctioned, it would serve as a bad precedence for any new minister or officer who is appointed to the Ministry”, the two have stated.

The two, who sat in a meeting with the accused persons prior to the Games in 2015, pleaded anonymity but told the Graphic Sports in an exclusive interview last Saturday that a former Chief Director of the Youth and Sports Ministry, Victor Xola Senayah, Chief Accountant Mr Emmanuel Oteng, former Head of Procurement Unit at the Ministry, Mrs Alice Azu, and Head of Internal Audit, Togah Nelson, allegedly superintended in awarding a contract of $880,000.00 to Africa Origins Travel and Tours without the tour agency having any contract with government.

It will be recalled that barely a month ago, Litina Travel and Tours successfully secured $380,000.00 and GHC45,000.00 awarded in its favour against the National Sports Authority (NSA) for breach of procurement law after Litina had won the bidding to procure air tickets for the Ghanaian contingent travelling to the All Africa Games in Congo Brazzaville in 2015.

The contract, however, was allegedly given to Africa Origins Travel and Tours despite serveral warnings from the procurement sub-committee and management of the National Sports Authority.

The source alleged that Mr Togah Nelson breached the Internal Audit Agency Act. 2002 when he failed to warn the Ministry about repercussions of its actions.

“The process to procure airlifting services of athletes from Ghana to Congo Brazzaville and back was initiated by the former Minister of Youth and Sports, Dr Mustapha Ahmed, through the inauguration of a Procurement Sub-committee, which was a sub-committee working under the All African Games Committee in 2015. After both the technical and financial evaluations, Litina Travels and Tours emerged the winner ahead of African Origin”, the source noted.

But the source wondered why the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MoYS), which failed to disburse any of the NSA’s budget of GHC2.0 million released to the MoYS by the Ministry of Finance last year for goods and services, could rather create such a huge debt for the NSA to pay.

“The whole of 2016, the MoYS did not bring a dime by way of Government subventions to support the maintenance of stadia across the country, or to train coaches or to support the federations”, the source lamented.

It held that “the MoYS must not shy away, they must let the whole world know that it is a deliberate effort on their part to kill the NSA so that they can deal with the federations directly”, it added.

According to the source, this would enable them do policy formulations and implementation at the same time and expressed sadness about the situation.

Meanwhile, the former Deputy Sports Minister, Vincent Oppong Asamoah (VOA), has denied ever being involved in awarding any such contract to African Origin Travel and Tours.

When contacted by the Graphic Sports yesterday, he said Africa Origin Travel and Tours had no contract with government as he declined further comment on the matter.

VOA, however, directed that the former Sports Minister, Dr Mustapha Ahmed, be contacted for further details but he also denied any knowledge of the issue when Graphic Sports spoke with him yesterday.

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