Efforts to reduce, if not eradicate, corruption and in accordance with each Ghanaian being a citizen and not a spectator as espoused by President Akufo-Addo, many individuals and organizations have focused their lenses on the operations of many state-owned institutions.
Ghanaian anti-graft coalition, Corruption Watch, in collaboration with Adom FM have uncovered the diversion of donated cement meant for the building of offices by the Tema New Town District Command of the Ghana National Fire Service.
The cement, Corruption Watch investigations have established, were donated by the Ghana Cement Foundation as a response to a request made by the Tema New Town District of GNFS.
In spite of the specific nature of the request, the 200 bags of cement mysteriously ended up in a private shop and have subsequently been sold either with or without the knowledge of the GNFS.
Corruption Watch can authoritatively put on record that 136 out of the 200 bags of cement have been sold off.
In 2017, the GNFS wrote a letter to GHACEM for cement to construct two new offices for officers because the station had limited offices to serve, a project the DFO, Naomi Quarshie said was to promote work by the GNFS personnel.
According to the District Officer (DFO) Naomi Quarshie, she applied for and received the 200 bags of cement on behalf of the GNFS but was quick to add in an exclusive interview with the Corruption Watch team that the cement bags never made it to the storeroom/warehouse either at the district, regional or national level.
“The purpose for which I applied of the cement has not been achieved”, she retorted helplessly.
The Acting Director for Strategy and Corporate Affairs for GHACEM, Solomon Ayiah who was not impressed with the developments has assured the general public that the company will conduct an independent internal investigation based on the findings of Corruption Watch.
The Public Relations Officer of the GNFS, Mr Okoe, responding to the investigations disclosed that per the policy of the institution, donations received at any district office must be transferred to the regional and then to the national offices if they both lack the facility to store the donations received.
According to him, the GNFS follows the Public Procurement Law for storage hence a breach of procedure has a punitive measure to be meted out to all culprits.
Corruption Watch’s Findings
Corruption Watch found that after loading the bags of cement from premises of GHACEM, the cement ended up in a private facility. After several days of investigating the whereabouts of the missing cement, the Corruption Watch team were led to a commercial cement shop by name CHARTEH ENTREPRISE at Tema Mahean, a two-minute walking distance from the Fire Station where the shop was fully operational with the owner of the shop actively doing business.
Upon further interrogation, it was revealed that the 200 bags of cement which never made it to the premises of the GNFS were actually offloaded to the CHARTEH ENTREPRISE from where 64 were taken and the remaining 136 bags sold.
A visit by Corruption Watch to the premises where the offices were to be built, however, revealed that not even a foundation had been laid to indicate an attempt to construct the new offices.