SML contract is unlawful –NDC

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has said that the transaction audit, external price verification and downstream petroleum audit contracts entered into between the government and Strategic Mobilisation Ghana Ltd. (SML) are unlawful.

The NDC says that in its view, the SML transactions “are duplicitous, needless and inimical to the interest of our dear nation,” adding that the payments made, “totaling GH¢1,061,054,778 are illegal.”

The National Communications Officer, Sammy Gyamfi, met the press on Monday, April 29, 2024 where he addressed the controversial SML deal.
According to Sammy Gyamfi, those who sanctioned the payments have occasioned a huge financial loss to the state.

He said that the NDC is appalled but unsurprised by the decision by the government to allow SML to continue the performance of the downstream petroleum audit services.
“This is the greatest abetment of crime yet again by the ruling New Patriotic Party and goes to fortify our suspicions that this scandal was cooked at the highest echelons of power,” Sammy Gyamfi said.

The NDC accused the government of a cover-up for not publishing the full KPMG investigative report on this matter, and for the decision to allow SML to continue performing the downstream petroleum audit services.

The NDC argued that at a time when the nation is faced with economic crises, the least duty-bearers could do was to use the meagre resources of the country judiciously and for the benefit of the people.

Sammy Gyamfi stated that the amount of money spent on SML could have been invested in social infrastructure, job creation ventures, education, healthcare delivery, or other productive sectors to improve the livelihoods of Ghanaians.

However, the NDC, in its statement to the press made some demands, including the immediate termination of all the illegal contracts entered into between SML and the GRA.
They also demanded the retrieval of all payments made by the government to SML, under the agreements, which have occasioned a huge financial loss to the state.

The NDC wants the immediate publication of the full KPMG investigative report on the dealings between SML and the GRA and the prosecution of all persons involved in the award of illegal contracts and the illegal payments thereof to SML.

Meanwhile, President Akufo-Addo, in response to the audit conducted by KPMG regarding the transactions directed for the termination of the upstream petroleum audit and minerals audit services.

The President also directed the termination of the transaction audit and external price verification services. The reason was that the GRA obtained only partial value or benefit from these services, partly due to a lack of monitoring.

“KPMG’s investigation found that GRA has introduced external price verification tools as part of ICUMS, among its other functions. This renders the reliance on SML for external price verification redundant,” the statement said.

Regardless, Sammy Gyamfi reiterated that the next NDC government will not recognise the illegal contracts between the government of Ghana and SML.

According to Sammy Gyamfi, the next NDC government shall launch credible and transparent investigations into the SML scandal, with the aim of retrieving for the state all illegal payments made to SML.

The NDC also said the investigations will aim at the prosecution of “all persons who are complicit in these illegal transactions.”


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