By Agnes Ansah
Another dismissed deputy Chief Executive Officer of the National Youth Authority, Mr Bright Kwabena Acheampong has issued a letter expressing his disappointment at his dismissal.
According to Mr Acheampong, who until Monday’s dismissal was in charge of Operations, he was only acting as a whistle blower and that the decision to dismiss him would be reversed if he were given a hearing on the issue.
“A 24-hour reflection on the termination of my appointment, by letter signed by the Hon. Minister for Youth & Sports is enough time for me to reflect, rebuild, especially as I was not given a hearing on the matter.
To safeguard the Party and Government from an impending danger, I did not only act by informing the Sector Minister but also served as a whistleblower, who the law needs to protect at all times.”
This was in response to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Monday, firing the Chief Executive Officer of the National Youth Authority (NYA), Emmanuel Sin-nyet Asigri and his two deputies Bright Kwabnea Acheampong and Richard Ebbah Obeng.
A letter signed by the Minister of Youth and Sports, Isaac Asiamah, instructed the three to hand control of their office to the Director of Technical Projects of the Authority, Emmanuel Anaman-Mensah.
The trio’s dismissal was linked to their offering of a contract, worth ₵1.8million, to provide training on street light installation and repair to young people to the company Prefos in a manner that did not follow official procurement procedure. After a month, despite no visible results a large payment was made to the company.
“I wish to state unequivocally that, as far as payment, approval and figures were concern, I sent my strongest disapproval to the program except the idea in all meetings that was held,” he said.
He indicated in the letter that this wasn’t the first time he and his colleague deputy, blew the whistle on a decision that the then CEO of the NYA, Emmanuel Asigri had unilaterally made, breaching the PFM Act and Procurement Act.
“It should be noted that as a Deputy in charge of Programs and Operations, I got to read a copy of the MOU between NYA & Prefos a week before the first batch of the training programme, and in most of the meetings I raised issues with it,” he said.
He also said “I questioned why the authority was in a rush especially given that, we ( NYA) had not signed an agreement with the Local Government Ministry for trainees to be absorbed by them after the training programme”, and added that by the time that the Hon Minister appeared at the audit hearing of the Ministry, the Hon, Minister, Isaac Kwame Asiamah (MP) , knew that the first batch of the training has been done, meanwhile he reported that, the Ministry through the NYA, was about to train youth to help in the maintenance of street lights across the country.
He ended his letter by thanking the President for giving him the opportunity to serve as a deputy CEO for the authority for the past 2 and half years.
“I wish finally to thank the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for the Honour done me, for the past 2 and half years.”
But before the letter by Mr Acheampong was published, Mr Richard Joojo Obeng, the other deputy CEO who had also been dismissed wrote a post on Facebook explaining to Ghanaians his side of the story.
According to him, he had no hand in the ₵1.8million streetlight installation contract controversially awarded to Prefos.
“All records available at NYA including management minutes and internal payment documents clearly show that I and a few good people have indeed held and taken the strongest possible opposition to the NYA-Prefos Streetlight Training engagements,” Mr. Obeng posted on Facebook.
Mr. Richard Obeng, who until Monday’s announcement, was in charge of Finance and Administration, said he did his best to ensure the contract was stopped.
“I actually stopped the payment voucher covering that transaction and locked it up. It is still in my possession. As to why and how that cheque was written in spite of the Payment Voucher blockade, I leave it to the team of investigators and possibly prosecutors,” he wrote.
He also expressed gratitude to the President for the opportunity to serve in his government.