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24 August 2017

Kwame Preprah contradicts Alabi; distances himself from SSNIT $72m deal

Former Board Chairman of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Kwame Preprah has rejected claims that his board approved a supposed $72 million software contract for the Trust.

Professor Joshua Alabi who took over from Mr. Preprah in 2013 accused the previous board of giving the project a green light.

The software known as Operational Business Suite (OBS) according to SSNIT was to network all branches of the Trust’s across the country to enable them to receive real time data directly to the headquarters in Accra and enhance efficiency.

Prof. Alabi in a Citi News interview on Wednesday said “it was awarded before my board.”

Prof. Alabi

Prof. Alabi

“The management went beyond the contract sum without recourse to the board; they came to the board for ratification and queried it. But then I really want to believe that the previous board really took into consideration the operations of SSNIT before awarding that contract. The management also explained to the board that there was some unforeseen expenditure that occurred and that is why they went beyond their contract sum but then we queried it because we said they should have brought it to the board for discussion and approval before awarding it,” Prof. Alabi added.

But a statement signed by Mr. Preprah’s aide, Justice Opoku Agyeman and copied citifmonline.com said such was not the case.

“It is also instructive to understand that, Mr. Kwame Preprah’s board did not approve the payment of the said amount nor anything close to it,” the statement said.

The statement further quoted Mr. Preprah as saying “the board which I chaired did not approve any payment under my watch and I have no idea how the payment was effected.”

“Any attempt to push blame with regards to the $66 million dollars payment will be in bad fate,” the statement added.

The statement further questioned why Mr. Alabi’s board did not abrogate the contract when he queried it.

“Assuming without admitting that the said argument should be adhered to, doesn’t it raise serious issues bordering on integrity and competence? As a new board chairman, taking over from a previous board, what prevented you from going further after the query to stop the transaction if in the wisdom of the board, of which you were the chairman, it was wrong or smacks fraud? ….For heaven sake, don’t we have an Attorney General’s office? Couldn’t we have referred the matter to that office for proper legal advice leading to the termination or otherwise of the transaction?”

Meanwhile, the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) is currently investigating five officials of SSNIT for their alleged involvement in the acquisition of a OBS software.

By: Godwin Akweiteh Allotey/citifmonline.com/Ghana

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