We blame gov’t not Smartty’s for senseless bus branding Nana Akomea

The Communications Director of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akomea, says the Mahama administration has proven to encourage stealing from the state by politically connected persons.

He says through its failure to apply punitive sanctions against people who use devious means to take money from the public purse, the National Democratic Congress government is tacitly promoting corruption.

He was speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show following a press conference by the opposition party demanding answers in respect to a bus branding contract gone wrong.

It emerged through a document laid before parliament late last year that GHS 3.6 million from petroleum revenues had been spent on branding 116 public buses.

The expenditure caused public outrage and forced the Transport Minister to resign.

Chief of Staff Julius Debrah in a dramatic move, wrote to the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mrs. Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong to investigate the matter and report to him.

The A-G submitted a report saying amongst other things that the contract sum was hugely inflated.

Government ordered the company that undertook the rebranding, Smartty’s Management and Productions, to refund 1.9 million cedis to the state.

But the NPP argues government’s directive to companies to refund monies wrongfully paid to them instead of prosecuting in accordance with law is the bane of the country’s problems.

The party’s Communication Director, Nana Akomea says devious business people who use dubious means to take money from the state must not only be made to pay the monies with interest, but the corrupt officials who collude with them must also be prosecuted.

Short of these two measures he says the “policy of refund is an insider dealings which makes a mockery of the whole system”.

Nana Akomea berated the government for shielding corrupt persons with strong NDC connections.

Apart from Smartty’s, Nana Akomea pointed out that the businessman, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, is also yet to refund 51.2 million cedis to the state.

Although government entered a criminal prosecution against Woyome, it failed.

Images on rebranded buses:
The image of President Mahama on the branded buses is also a concern for the NPP. For Nana Akomea, using tax payers’ money to advertise the presidential candidate of the governing National Democratic Congress is an abuse of incumbency.

“This is an attempt to project President Mahama ahead of the 2016 elections”, he said.

Although the buses have black and white pictures of former presidents, Nana Akomea believes President Mahama is yet to make his contributions to the development of the country, therefore, his picture should not have been there.

“We still don’t know the full extent of his contributions”, he said, and concluded that “Our worry is not even with Smartty, our worry is with government”.

Story by Ghana | Myjoyonline.com/Austin Brako-Powers/Twitter @Kwabena_Brako

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