GH¢1. 309 million rot uncovered at NLA -board member sneaks paper contract steel manufacturing company

The management of the National Lottery Authority (NLA) held a crunch meeting Monday, October 25, following the raiding of its premises by operatives of National Security to investigate a paper supply contract which was surprisingly awarded to a steel manufacturing company located in Tema.

The security personnel, were following up on intelligence about issues with procurement, supply, and handling of NLA’s security thermal paper rolls.

The NLA, awarded a contract for the supply of 135,000 pieces of security thermal rolls at the sum of One Million Three Hundred and Nine Thousand Ghana Cedis (GHS1, 309,000.00) to Apollo Steel Ghana Limited owned by one Sanjay, an Indian national.

The Herald’s information is that, the NLA to Public Procurement Authority (PPA) to the Central Tender Board, the contract was processed and awarded on the same day to Apollo Steel Ghana Limited, which buys, processes and sells steel products.

Additional digging done by The Herald on the GHS 1,309,000.00 contract is suggesting that Apollo Steel Ghana Limited, might have allowed its document to be used by the real person who executed the contract.

The name of one Henry Yentumi, said to be an NLA board member who represented the Ministry of Finance on the previous board, executed the job, however, the cheque was issued in the name of the Apollo Steel Ghana Limited, and has since been cleared.

Also available to The Herald are reports of tax evasion and other illegal acts which National Investigation Bureau (NIB) is probing.

This is because the specialized papers were hidden among confessionary products including biscuits and milk, and smuggled into Ghana though Aflao border.

The spokesperson for NLA, Goodfellow Dei-Ofei, who has been speaking on the matter has told the Morning Starr “a certain truck which made its way through the Aflao border indicated that they were going to get some suppliers done for the NLA, and so they basically have to follow up, because that they didn’t pay the needed duties and all the statutory payment they needed to do, to find out what the situation was.”

He added that “in fact, the Director-General if you look at the period that the said contract was signed, Mr Samuel Awuku, wasn’t in office.

Mr Awuku assumed office in the first week of August. This morning, he requested that a team who were there before he assumed office should give him a full brief of the matter. So, currently, they are in a meeting briefing with the Director-General, so I am sure with some time given, we will be able to get the full fact of the matter.

Who signed it, where it was signed and the papers circulating, what the contractors’ duties are, and who and who authorized the payment to the company?”

“On Friday, when this whole matter broke up, the circumstances that brought up the matter was that the said supplier through the courier didn’t pay the needed fees because they were coming from Nigeria. Apparently, with some of the bits and pieces of the information that I have gotten, the printing was done in Nigeria, so they came through the Aflao border, and they didn’t pay the duty component of it.”

Operatives of the National Security last Friday, October 22, 2021, stormed the Head Office of the NLA in the bid to seek some clarification on intelligence picked.

Several media outlets have reported unnamed sources saying the raid was in connection with the procurement, supply and handling of NLA’s security thermal paper rolls.

Documents cited show that on 21st June 2021, the NLA awarded a contract for the supply of 135,000 pieces of security thermal rolls to Apollo Steel Ghana Limited.

The details of the contract, stipulates that the items are to be delivered at the Head office of the NLA two (2) weeks after the signing of the contract. The items were to be paid for ninety (90) days after supply had been made to the satisfaction of the NLA.

It was disclosed that before the supply could be made the NLA without going through the proper procedure paid the GHS 1,309,000.00 to Apollo Steel Ghana Limited in July 2021.

The National Security and the Ghana Revenue Authority, have begun investigations into how the contract was awarded and paid for in breach of the terms of the agreement, the Public Financial Management Act and the Public Procurement Act.

Another issue under investigation is that the said security thermal paper rolls were produced in Nigeria without any security print compliance procedures and were transported by cargo trucks to Ghana through the Aflao border.

The thermal paper rolls were hidden and mixed among consumable products (biscuits, drinks, toiletries etc) and smuggled into Ghana at the Aflao border last Friday, October 22, 2021, without paying the required duties on them.

Because of the poor handling of the security thermal paper rolls some of them dropped from the trucks on its way to the Head of Office of the NLA compromising the security of NLA operations at the various point of sale terminals.

The NLA under its new leadership has been in the news for some good reasons over the last few weeks giving people renewed hope.

Many expect the new Director General to deal decisively with the endemic corruption within the State-Owned Lottery Authority.

More to come!

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