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Gov’t pays Rlg over 25m to train 15,000 in ICT, but less than 5000 benefitting

Joy News investigations have revealed that an agreement between Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA) and Rlg Communications stating that RLG trains 15,000 beneficiaries in 2013 at a cost of GHS25.5 million has been breached.
Although GYEEDA has paid Rlg the GHS25.5 million, only 4, 222, instead of the 15,000 beneficiaries are currently being trained.
In the ongoing investigations into questionable contracts at the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA), Manasseh Azure Awuni reveals how Rlg has also been overpaid, while the AGAMS Group owes the state about GHS 50 million in loans.
Rlg Communications Limited, Asongtaba Cottage Industry and Exchange Programme, ACI Construction Limited and Craft Pro Limited all fall under the AGAMS Group of Companies owned by Roland Agambire. These companies run at least fifteen modules under GYEEDA.
Rlg Communications, which is the focus of this edition of the series on the AGAMS Group, started its activities with GYEEDA in 2009 when it was awarded a contract to train 5000 youth in mobile phone repairs.
Proper Harrison Addo, head of Legal and Corporate Affairs at Rlg toldJoy News 31,143 beneficiaries have been trained so far.
But apart from the over 31,000 youth trained in ICT and mobile phone repairs, Rlg currently has another contract to train 30,000 youth in ICT at a cost of GHS 51 million.
The agreement, stipulates that RLG will train 15,000 beneficiaries in 2013 at a cost of GHS 25.5 million. The remaining 15,000 are to be trained in 2014 at the same cost.
Officials of GYEEDA will not respond to queries why they paid Rlg for 15,000 beneficiaries and provided only 4,000 beneficiaries for training. But another anomaly Joy News investigations have revealed is over-payment made to Rlg.
A careful observation of the list of payments made to the company clearly shows they exceed their contract sum. As much as GHS 5 million have been overpaid to Rlg according to documents available to Joy News.
Joy News have also detected over-invoicing in some of the Rlg contracts. For instance in the August 3, 2009 contract, the duration of the training was six months but the budget was drawn for twelve months, shooting up the cost in some of the components two times more than the real amount.
Over-payment and over-invoicing are not the only anomalies detected in the RLG operations with GYEEDA. Our investigations also revealed that Rlg, together with two other companies under the AGAMS Group, owes the state about 50 million Ghana cedis from interest free loans. The companies have not paid even though some of the loans were due for payment as far back as 2011.
Henry Kanga, Executive Director of Asongtaba Cottage Industry and Exchange Programme, said he could not readily recollect how much they owe the state.
Our investigations also showed the loans have no parliamentary approval as provided in Article 181 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.
Though the contracts are usually for a period of six months, the companies have up to five years to repay the loans and additionally, two years grace period if they are unable to fulfill that obligation.
In the course of this investigation, some officials of the AGAMS Group told Joy News they were taking steps to repay the monies. At the time of filing this report, they were yet to produce evidence of payment.
But the contracts do not seem to place any liability on the companies if they default. For instance, the contract signed between Asongtaba and GYEEDA for the Youth in Transportation Service Provision has a loan component of GHS 24.5 million.
But the liability clause in that contract only states that in case of delays and default, the company shall promptly communicate to the sector ministry.
This raises serious questions, one of them being, whether the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General actually perused the contract.
Source: Myjoyonline

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