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Biting the bullet for a better Ghana

2008-08-12 22:29:56
This article has been read 893 times.

Boniface Saddique
“There will be Zero Tolerance for Corruption by my government, Ghanaians must be prepared to bite the bullet to put the economy on sound footing.” That was President Kufuor in his address to the nation eight years ago.

But whether Ghanaians are biting the bullet together with the Ministers is another matter. The Chronicle has learnt in its probe into the life style of some of the Ministers that they are leading opulent life styles, particularly those who are vying for top positions in the party.

This paper can report on authority that the aspiring New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) running mate and Minister of Housing and Water Resources, Hon. Boniface Abubakar Sadique, has sanctioned the purchase of a Toyota Landcruiser, VXV8, Double Fuel Tank, 2008 Model, with registration number GE9991Z, costing $89,000.00 for his office, after inheriting a Nissan Patrol Automatic V6, that had been used for barely two years (24 months) by his predecessor. A similar Nissan Patrol from Japan Motors cost $65,306.00 and has 36 months warranty.

When Hon. Hackman Owusu Agyeman took over in 2005, as the head of that Ministry, a Nissan Patrol, V6, with registration number GT6438X was purchased for his office. From the records of Japan Motors, a similar Nissan Patrol with 36 months warranty cost $65,306.00.

After the car had been used for barely two years, his successor, Boniface, on the assumption of office as Minister for Water Resource, Works & Housing, asked for its replacement with a more luxurious one. The Chronicle gathered that his son, who is not a government official, is currently using the vehicle which Boniface has rejected.

The Chief Director at the Ministry of Water Resources, Works & Housing, Mr. Amoah Gyarteng, when contacted on Wednesday, said the purchase of the luxurious car for Boniface was necessitated by what the Minister’s predecessor, Hon Hackman Owusu Agyeman wrote in his handing over note. According to the Chief Director, Hackman indicated that the car was not functioning properly and that a new one should be purchased.

The Chief Director would not answer the question as to why a virtually new Nissan Patrol under two 2 years, with regular servicing should be replaced.

Surprisingly, the car in question, the one Hackman recommended that it should be replaced, as indicated by the Chief Director, was barely two years, and from the pro-forma invoice that this reporter collected from Japan Motors, a luxurious Nissan Patrol Automatic that cost $65,306.00, has 36 months Warranty.

When asked in whose possession the Nissan Patrol was, Mr. Gyarteng furiously told the reporter to “go and ask the Minister” and that he was not the right person to respond to the question.

Hon. Hackman Owusu Agyeman was furious when this reporter contacted him to confirm or deny whether he sanctioned or recommended in his handing over report, about the purchase of a new car for his successor, after using the car for barely two years.

He explosively retorted, “why didn’t you access the said report and read it for yourself when the Director told you”? Hackman said he did not want to be drawn into this matter and hanged up.

From Toyota Ghana, The Chronicle gathered that Toyota Landcruiser VXV8, Double Fuel Tank, Cruise Control - 2008 Model, currently cost $89,000 and that being custom-made, it would take up to 5 months to have it delivered. A standard Landcruiser from Toyota Ghana cost $78,000 for automatic transmission and $75,500 for manual transmission. Not satisfied with the luxury and comfort that this new landcruiser provides, the Minister went ahead and asked for the purchase of Seat Covers and Bumper Guard to the tune of GH¢400.00 and GH¢1000.00 respectively.

The aspiring NPP running mate would not speak to The Chronicle on this matter. On Monday, August 4th, the reporter went to the Minister’s office but was not allowed to see him, under the pretext that he was busy.

The reporter followed up with several phone calls and SMS message to the Minister’s cell phone, but all to no avail. Most of the calls to his cell phone were picked up by his body guard who in all cases gave indications that the Minister was not ready to speak to the paper, with excuses like “he is busy, he is travelling to the North and he is in his

constituency,” among others.

The SMS message read ‘Dear Min. I am George Frimpong, the Assistant News Editor of The Chronicle, I’m doing a story, which I really need your side to present a fair story. I would be most grateful if you could reach me since having access to you has been unsuccessful.’

On assumption of office, Hon Kwamena Bartels bought a Nissan Patrol and the same vehicle was used by his successors, Hon Yaw Barimah and Alhaji Mustapha Ali Iddriss.

Hackman bought a brand new one in 2006 and in less than two years the Minister has bought a more luxurious one. For more on this story, read The Chronicle always.


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