General News of Thursday, 10 January 2019
The Alliance for Environmental Sanitation is calling on the government and President Akufo-Addo to stop awarding new contracts to waste management company, Zoomlion.
According to the group, the continuous award of contracts to Zoomlion without visible improvement in the sanitation situation in the country does not create an even playing field for all sanitation companies in the country.
Addressing journalists in the Ashanti Regional capital, Kumasi on the matter, the group further advocated for the cessation of further payments from the District Assemblies Common Fund to Zoomlion Ghana Limited.
The Alliance for Environmental Sanitation alleged that the government had favoured Zoomlion among the many waste management companies and imposed the company on MMDAs to render sanitation services to them.
It said investigations must also be conducted into how the company was selected to render the services to the Assemblies.
While lamenting that fact that other waste management companies whose services were employed by the government in the past have not been paid, the Chairman of the group, Kakraba-Ampah, urged the government to ensure healthy competition among sanitation companies in the country and ensure value for money in all contracts awarded.
In spite of the huge sums of money ceded to Zoomlion over the years, we are still experiencing a lot of waste in our environment and that is not good enough. Zoomlion continuously gets paid from District Assembly Common Fund for virtually no work done. In a number of cases, friends who have done genuine business have not been payment for several years.
We are therefore calling on the president, Akufo-Addo who desires to make Accra the cleanest City in Africa, to aggressively eliminate the monopoly of Zoomlion and create a level playing field for healthy competition to give Ghanaians value for money in environmental sanitation management, he said.
Zoomlion, which is being accused of enjoying monopoly has recently come under fire over supposed undeserved monies it has reportedly been receiving from the National Health Insurance Authority from January 2007 to April 2018.
The 2018 Auditor General’s report asked three former heads and the current CEO of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) and Zoomlion, to refund a total amount of GH?411, 433, 086 following revelations of wrongful payments made to the waste management company during the stated period.
The CEO of Jospong Group, the mother company of Zoomlion, has constantly been criticized for one questionable contract or the other under both NDC and NPP administrations.
‘We did nothing wrong receiving NHIA payments for work done’ – Zoomlion
The company says it did nothing wrong in receiving monies from the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) for services it provided to the Authority.
Zoomlion in a statement insisted that: “without preempting the ruling of the court in the appeal, the Management of Zoomlion Ghana Limited wishes to assure the public that, the company believes it has done nothing wrong.”
“Zoomlion’s contracts in the areas of disinfestation as a preventive health measure with the Ministries of Health have all been duly executed and duly paid for,” the statement added.
We’re already in court – Zoomlion
In an earlier interview with Citi News, Director of Communications and Corporate Affairs at Zoomlion, Emma Akyea-Boakye said they are already in court over the matter.
“Yes we have knowledge of that report. We have read through it, we appreciate what is in there but we disagree with the decision of the statement. And so for further actions we have appealed to the court and we are waiting for the court to decide. And so we will wait until the court decides,” Emma Akyea-Boakye added.