Smarttys pays second instalment of refund

Smarttys Management and Production Limited says it has paid the second instalment of the refunds in connection with the rebranding of 116 Metro Mass Transit (MMT) buses by the Ministry of Transport.

A letter signed by the lawyer for Smarttys Management and Production Limited, Mr Kissi Agyebeng, said seven hundred thousand cedis (GH¢700,000) was paid on February 25, 2016.

This brings the amount to one million Ghana cedis paid by Smarttys Management and Production Limited out of the figure of GH¢1,548,608.04 to be refunded.

Last year, investigations into the rebranding of 116 Metro Mass Transit Buses involving GH¢3.6million revealed that Smarttys over- billed the government to the tune of about GH¢1.9million.

The scandal

The branding of the new Huanghai buses for the MMT with portraits of President John Mahama and past presidents caused public outcry, resulting in the resignation of the Minister of Transport, Ms Dzifa Attivor, in December.

Following the public outcry, the Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah, directed the Attorney General, Marietta Brew Appiah –Oppong, to recover GH¢1.9million from Smarttys.

The Attorney General presented her report on December 22, 2015 directing the refund of money found to have been overpaid to Smarttys in the contract.

The second payment

A letter attached to the cheque paid into the account of the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) stated, “see attached a cheque(numbered 000014 Guaranty Trust Bank (Ghana)” intended as the settling of the agreed second instalment in the sum of Seven Hundred Thousand cedis(GH¢700,000) drawn on the Clients Account of Cromwell Gray LLP”.

The letter made reference to the Attorney General’s letters of December 29, 2015 and January 7, 2016 on the refunds to be made, and also made reference to modes of payment reached.

Modes of payment

The letter of January 7, 2016 by the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Ms Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, which was addressed to Mr Kissi Agyebeng, said a figure of GH¢1,548,608.04 had been arrived at as the amount to be refunded by Smarttys Management and Production Limited.

“In consultation with the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Finance, this amount was arrived at taking into consideration the following factors raised in your letter, revised value added tax position, revised withholding tax position and a set off of GH¢27,173.74 withholding tax over deductions,” the letter added.

The letter indicated the acceptance of the request to pay the revised amount in full on or before March 31, 2016.

It said interest on the revised amount would be frozen subject to Smarttys Management and Production Limited making full payment of an amount between GH¢300,000 on or before January 29, 2016.

“The remainder is to be paid in two equal instalments on or before 29 February 2016 and 31st March 2016, respectively,” the letter said.
It directed that all payments should be made by cheque in the name of EOCO.

“Please be advised that government reserves the right to take all relevant actions or steps to recover all moneys owed together with interest accrued calculated at the prevailing bank rate from 29th January 2016 to date of final payment if you fail to make payment within the stipulated time,” the letter said.


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