The National Lottery Authority (NLA) has issued an angry denial following claims that it has procured 30,000 Android Point of Sale Terminals (APoST) at a cost higher than market price.
The authority is currently engaged in a legal tussle with Multimedia Group operators of Joy News, which had claimed that they had “uncovered fresh scandal” and was preparing to air the documentary.
In the documentary, they claimed, “A JoyNews investigation has uncovered a contract for which the nation will make losses of over $10 million in the procurement of Point of Sale (PoS) devices for the NLA.”
“In the documentary, the team gathered evidence that the contract for the supply of 30,000 PoS devices for the NLA should have cost less than half of the contract sum of $25 million,” Multimedia had aired.
In the ensuing drama, the NLA responded by branding Joy News as peddling lies and tarnishing the image of the government, and said the private station was engaging in “unprofessional and unethical conduct.”
The NLA Public Relations Unit, in a press statement, said “the NLA is very disappointed at the unprofessional and unethical conduct of ‘Joy News/Joy FM’ and Multimedia Group Limited over unfair, untrue and biased reports on the procurement of NEXGO APoST by the authority.”
According to the NLA, the airing of the documentary is completely slanderous and vilifying, which is absolutely unacceptable to the organization, asserting “first and foremost, the whole content of the documentary is baseless and without any iota of truth.”
“It is never true that the cost of the APoST were inflated by the Director General of the NLA as alleged by the ‘Joy News/Joy FM’/ Multimedia Group Limited.
“It is also never true that the NLA has procured 30, 000 APoST,” the NLA stressed.
It stated that the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) gave approval to the authority to procure 30,000 Point of Sale Terminals, but could only purchase 5,000 due to its financial strength.
The NLA explained that the cost and negotiations for the award of contract to the manufacturer, Shenzhen Xinguodu Technology Limited was approved by the PPA, which directed its officials to negotiate for a five per cent discount on the contract sum prior to the award of the contract.
The statement said, however, that due to the inability of the local partner of Shenzhen Xinguodu Technology Limited to offer the five per cent discount as requested by PPA, the NLA was again directed by the PPA to go for a three per cent reduction instead.
Delivery Duty Paid
The PPA also tasked Shenzhen Xinguodu Technology Limited and its local partner to deliver the devices to the NLA through “delivery duty paid (DDP),” the authority indicated further.
It added that “if Multimedia Group Limited understands what is DDP, with the greatest of respect, they would not have come up with this bogus documentary of cost inflation. However their ignorance cannot be forgiven.”
“Again, the APoST are not just ordinary PoST machines. The APoST have special technological features aimed at supporting NLA to offer value added services, unlike the usual analogue PoST machines which lack the capacity to perform the functions of value added services.”
It said “it is very naive and ignorant for ‘Joy News/Joy FM’/ Multimedia Group Limited to conclude that the Authority has procured 30,000 APoST at an inflated cost of over $10 million dollars.”
“It is instructive to state that, Kofi Osei-Ameyaw, the Director General of the NLA, has sued Multimedia Group Limited in this particular subject matter, and the case is still pending at the court.”
The NLA said “if not for purposes of propaganda and mischief, ‘Joy News/Joy FM’/ Multimedia Group Limited has every right under the law to submit their evidence to the court for final determination of the case; but no, they chose to throw dust into the eyes of Ghanaians and the general public.”
According to the NLA, the resigned Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, was investigating this particular case, “but failed woefully to conclude the investigation before his unfortunate resignation.”
“The NLA shall officially sue ‘Joy News/Joy FM’/ Multimedia Group Limited in the coming days over these baseless and unsubstantiated allegations.”
The NLA entreated Ghanaians and the general public to totally and wholly ignore “the bogus documentary of ‘Joy News/Joy FM’/ Multimedia Group Limited since the matter is before a competent court of jurisdiction for determination.”
Lawyers of Mr. Osei-Ameyaw have said they have written to Multimedia for ‘Joy News’ to desist from showing the documentary since the case is pending and have said they are seeking legal redress to ensure the right thing is done.