MMDAs push for cancellation of shady Zoomlion fumigation project

Ghana News

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Some Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) across the country are calling on the government to, as a matter of urgency, cancel the fumigation contract which it signed with Zoomlion Ghana Limited. 

Joy News on Tuesday revealed how a GH¢98 million fumigation contract was single-sourced to 11 subsidiaries of the Jospong Group of Companies despite an existing fumigation contract.

The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development single-sourced the spraying contract to the companies in 2015.

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 The investigations also uncovered that this contract was awarded at a time government had two spraying contracts with another member of the Jospong Group, Zoomlion, to do the same job. The two Zoomlion contracts covered all the 216 MMDAs.

Photo: Then Local Government Minister Collins Dauda and Chairman of Jospong Group of Companies Joseph Siaw Agyepong

Related: 11 Jospong companies single-sourced for GHȻ98m fumigation contract

The contract, awarded for four months, was for fumigation across the country but some of the assemblies say they do not know about the companies which were supposed to undertake the exercise in their localities.

Manasseh Azure Awuni who toured the country in a special investigative series reports that the assemblies are raising questions about the existing contracts and want the government to cancel them.

“If the central government cannot control Zoomlion at the national level how can the district assemblies control them at the local level,” said Thomas Nkpetri, Presiding Member of the Kpandai District Assembly in the Northern Region.

Mr. Nkpetri is also not happy with the source-deductions from the District Assemblies Common Fund.

The Funds are deducted in Accra and paid to Zoomlion Ghana Limited to render services in all the 216 MMDAs in the country.

Some assemblies have also found Zoomlion’s execution of the fumigation exercise unsatisfactory.

Zoomlion and its sister companies have multiple contracts with all the assemblies in Ghana but almost all 53 assemblies that Joy News visited say they are not impressed with the level of work.

“It is not the best, and whether it is even working in the system so much I can’t tell,” Mr. Nkpetri adds.

The Environmental Health Officer of the Biakoye District of the Volta Region, Emmanuel Aduamoah, told Joy News that the assemblies have on many occasions raised concerns about the contract at quarterly meetings of the Municipal and District Environmental Health Officers.

“Issues are raised about this fumigation, how it is done, the rate at which it is done; the chunk of money taken for this exercise is just too much,” Mr Aduamoah said.

The total amount paid by all assemblies for the fumigation exercise is GH¢36.3 million.

The Bongo District Environmental Health Officer, Joseph Azure, for instance, faults the lack of information about the chemicals used for the fumigation exercise.

In most instances, the only role the Assemblies play in the fumigation exercise is to endorse Zoomlion's report for the payment, although they cannot independently verify what Zoomlion claims to have done.

Tema Metropolitan Health Director, Wisdom Aditse, says sometimes all the Assemblies see as evidence of work are pictures.