Chief Executive Officer of Zongo Development Fund, ZoDF, Arafat Sulemana Abdulai, may heave a sigh of relief as the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) has written to set the records straight.
An independent review panel has exonerated Sulemana Abdulai, of any ethical wrongdoing and rubbished the allegations of procurement infractions and clears the way for Arafat to continue his term as Chief Executive Officer of the Zongo Development Fund.
Responding to a request for ratification-procurement of hand sanitizers and liquid soaps for the control of the spread of COVID-19, the PPA wrote, we make reference to your letter No. ZODF/291/2020 dated 20th May 2020 on the above-mentioned subject.
‘The investigation report delivered to the Board at the Board Technical Committee Meeting No. 45 (045/2020) held on Wednesday, 29th July 2020, has thoroughly reviewed and the recommendations accepted as satisfactory’.
‘As part of the ratification process, an investigation was conducted to determine the circumstances under which the engagement of Focus Women Network was carried out’.
Affirming PPA’s findings, the Board of the Zongo Development Fund(ZoDF) has clarified that the CEO of the Fund, has ratified the procurement processes in the purchase of Personal Procurement Equipment (PPE) to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
An investigation by Corruption Watch an anti-graft group uncovered that the Fund allegedly engaged in malpractices in the purchase of goods, services and works worth ¢5 million.
The management of ZoDF allegedly superintended procurement breaches such as inflation of contract figures and breaching of the entity head’s threshold.
Corruption Watch established that ¢200,000 of the ¢5 million was spent on a contract for personal protective equipment for COVID-19.
However, the Board of ZoDF in a statement signed by its Chairman, Rear Admiral Mohammed Munir Tahiru (Retired) explained that “at the time the items were procured, the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) and indeed, many public institutions were not fully operational in compliance with the partial lockdown measures announced by the President. Meanwhile, the PPEs were urgently needed to save lives.
“Subsequent to procuring the items, the Chief Executive Officer of Zongo Development Fund, Arafat Sulemana Abdulai wrote to PPA in accordance with Section 90 (3) (c) of Act 663 as amended to request for ratification of the procurement processes for the items. By this action, the CEO subjected himself to investigation and has ratified the procurement processes,” the statement added.
Responding to the allegation that an amount of GHC4.8 million (GHc5,000,000 less cost of PPEs – GHc200,000) was spent on goods and services without an approved procurement plan, the Board emphasized that all items procured were in accordance with the Zongo Development Fund procurement plan.