Bryan Acheampong winning SSNIT hotels bid amounts to conflict of interest – Azeem

Anti-Corruption Advocate Vitus Azeem says that the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) selling 60% of its stake in hotels to MP and Agriculture Minister Bryan Acheampong’s Rock City Hotel constitute a conflict of interest.

According to him, Mr Acheampong is a minister of State and could have used his position to influence his SSNIT board to give him an advantage and possibly lead to him winning the bid.

Speaking on JoyNews’ Top Story on May 20, Mr Azeem said that in any case, SSNIT should have opened the tender to the contributors first.

“Yes, I think that there is a potential conflict of interest because this is a politically exposed person. He is in a position to make decisions but even the fact is that when you set up a company with the funds of workers and you are going to sell it out, you must first give an opportunity to the workers.

“The ordinary workers could have bought these small small shares so that they would have a stake in the running of the hotel,” he told host, Evans Mensah.https://www.youtube.com/embed/qmqnt5oQ3QU

Mr Azeem added that the decision to sell more than half of its stake meant that SSNIT would no longer have managerial powers.

This, he added, was the wrong move.

Additionally, the Anti-Corruption Advocate pointed out that Rock City was a single hotel, so for it to suddenly be in a position to buy six others raises questions, especially since the public was unaware of the price at which the stake is being sold.

“We haven’t even seen the cost of the sale to him, or the transaction which is a headache and a worry because we do not know how much they are selling it and those are the issues of conflict of interest.

“You are in government, you are in a position to take decisions and you are the one going in to buy these hotels. So, definitely, you cannot be such that there can be various underhand negotiations that ended in okay, lets hand over to him,” he added.

He argued that since the Agriculture Minister is in a position of power, the price could potentially reduce the cost of the property.

However, SSNIT in a press statement explained that the selection process for the sale was transparent and in strict compliance with the Public Procurement Act and that the search for a strategic investor was not fully conclusive.

It said Rock City Hotel Limited submitted the best and strongest technical and financial proposal among the bids received, meeting the criteria set out in the Request for Proposals (RFP)

The hotels mentioned in the petition include Labadi Beach Hotel, La Palm Royal Beach Resort, Elmina Beach Resort, Ridge Royal Hotel, Busua Beach Resort, and the Trust Lodge Hotel.

Meanwhile, National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for North Tongu constituency, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, said the statement from SSNIT in defense of attempts to sell off 60% stake in its hotels to Rock City Hotel, failed to address the key issues.

Mr Ablakwa petitioned the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to investigate the processes surrounding the sale of six hotels, alleging conflict of interest, abuse of power, and lack of due process.

source: myjoyonline

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button