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Resign – Chief of Staff orders NYA CEO

The Daily Statesman can confirm that the Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, has directed the chief executive officer of the National Youth Authority (NYA), Emmanuel Sin-nyet Asigri, to resign.

This follows a petition brought to the attention of Chief of Staff regarding a questionable procurement procedure which the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) has been called in to investigate.

The Chief of Staff summoned the chairperson and the CEO of the NYA to her office last week but both were out of town. An official letter was sent to them to appear yesterday (Friday, August 30), which both of them did.

The meeting was also attended by Deputy Chief of Staff Samuel Abu Jinapor.

Procurement breaches

The NYA Chair, Francisca Oteng, confirmed one procurement in which the CEO had allegedly breached procedures, awarding the said contract without the knowledge of the board.

This matter was referred to the PPA last month to investigate. The PPA assigned a team of investigators to gather information on it.

The NYA board acted following receipt of a petition from one Ibrahim Ofori alleging corruption relating to procurement. The board met to confer on the matter on July 2 2019.

The NYA chair followed this up with a letter to the Minister of Youth and Sports on July 10.

Criminal investigation?

In contention is the procurement method used to engage Prefos Ltd for training 500 young people o instal, maintain and repair streetlights. The value of the procurement in question is GHS4.5 million.

The Daily Statesman also understands that the matter has been reported to National Security.

Security officials will look to the PPA investigation to determine whether the matter should be reported to the Ghana Police Service’s Criminal Investigation Department for further investigation.

Presidential directive

The Daily Statesman can confirm that the President directed that all allegations of impropriety, whether under investigation or not, be brought to the immediate attention of the Chief of Staff to take proactive measures.

This is a far cry from the conduct of the immediate past government, under which, in the last few weeks before the January 7, 2017 handover by the John Mahama administration, hundreds of procurement deals agreed without due process were quickly rectified and ratified to avoid investigation by the incoming government.

Our information shows that the investigation into this particular matter have been ongoing since June. The accusation was brought to the attention of the Presidency the day President Akufo-Addo was travelling to Japan for the seventh Tokyo International Conference on Aid and Development (TICAD7) and the Chief of Staff acted immediately to address the matter.

A source at the Presidency told the Daily Statesman that the President is determined to deal with all allegations of corruption brought to his attention. The Office of the President is encouraging whistleblowers to ensure that a copy of any petition alleging wrongdoing by a member of government or public servant be sent to the Chief of Staff, the source said.

Mrs Osei-Opare has set up a desk in her office to monitor work with all agencies affected by such allegations to ensure that the accusations get the full and prompt attention they deserve.

Mr Asigri was acting chief executive of the NYA at the time he was directed to resign. He worked as a district chief executive during the Kufuor government.

Source: Daily Statesman

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