The Ghana @ 50 celebrations might have focused the world’s attention on Ghana as a beacon of hope in Africa and a strong statement of purpose- that 50 years down the line, Ghana is showing the way for the rest of Africa to emulate.
That is beautiful. However, an angle of this project has raised several issues about the processes through which contracts were administered, funded and followed through. Some organizations and companies have well defended themselves with the right documentations, contract letters and all the necessary details significant to claiming the funds they are requesting the commission assist them access from the state.
Watching these proceedings on TV however, I’m amazed at the level of ignorance, lack of detailed evidence, little or no documentation and the sense of business completely thrown out the window by some private companies and those who awarded them the contracts.
For a nation serious about progress, there is absolutely no excuse for the Ghana @ 50 Secretariat to claim the due to limited time, they were unable to draft contract letters and documents for several projects awarded to private companies. How can you justify awarding contracts worth millions cedis of state’s money, without the proper documentation to justify the release of such funds?
Why should we bundle about the talk of accountability and good governance in Africa when the basics of good business practice is ignored and overlooked? It is like saying my employer gave me ten thousand cedis to buy items on behalf of the company; I bought all the necessary items but because time was against me, I didn’t take receipts or documentation for the money I spent. This sounds irresponsible and unprofessional.
Some companies which were awarded contracts whether on paper or verbally have much to learn if they are serious about progress in business and contributing to national development. Imagine doing a contract for the state without any written document that defines the project and the legal right to carry on an assignment.
Several of those testifying claimed ‘We were given only verbal assurances to go ahead with contracts’. In some cases supervisors of contracts were not known or could not be traced. There is nothing verbal about millions of cedis of state’s money given out without any documented evidence of the company receiving the money, the period of the contract, the supervisors and all the necessary details that must be documented for future references and evidence.
If we claim we are committed to nation building in Africa, let us not deceive ourselves and sweep accountability under the carpet. If the problem is ignorance on the part of private companies or individuals, they must start to learn the rudiments of business and proper documentation of their operations. It wouldn’t be a surprise if several firms lose millions of cedis from the Ghana @ 50 project not because the funds are not theirs but because of ignorance or carelessness in failing to gather proper documentation that would speak for them when the need arises.
Let us treat state issues in Africa with seriousness, accountability and good practices- so that our development agenda would not be undermined. Excellence is its own reward.
Africa has hope because Africa has you.