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Stepped-Up Media Attacks On CEO: MASLOC Boss Tackles Critics! …Says No Monies Have Been Expended In Cars’ Deal

Published in politics Saturday, 14 October 2017 08:15

In his response to the barrages of well-calculated but shabbily coordinated spurious attacks on his persona and the outfit he heads, Stephen Amoah, Chief Executive of Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC), has explained that no monies have been spent on the Fiat Panda cars’ deal with Dextro-Impex Company Limited, neither has MASLOC bought any new cars from any company.

Rather, what it was, the Investment Consultant explained on Asempa FM’s afternoon show ‘Ekosii Sen’ on Monday, prior to the incessant attacks on him, was that, “I was in the office when one gentleman who says he has a company, has financiers and would bring cars so he was bringing us one for test, so that if we are interested we could talk. Then I told him that as of that time we had no money and we are now structuring our outfit. Two: that we don’t have an Act so if we could collect anything unless it goes to Parliament or the Chief of Staff gives approval; and my board is also not in”.

He continued that “Apart from that if he said he was going to bring in the cars and there is not going to be any obligation on us (MASLOC) or other person and we would only use our platform for us to merge, I feel there’s nothing wrong with it”.

He told KABA, the host that: I explained our arrangement to him, that for us; when we give our cars we take 10% upfront before we spread the rest. So if he is interested and would use his own money to finance we would only take the ten percent upfront for him and he would spread the rest, which he agreed.

Sticker, as the MASLOC boss is fondly called also intimated that no monies have been paid to the cars’ dealer, neither has he collected any money from Dextro-Impex Company Limited, but that if anything at all government would be the beneficiary as it would eventually charge the cars’ dealer some percentage for using MASLOC platform.

Responding to issues surrounding the MASLOC cars, Stephen Amoah indicated that the cars were there for taking and that if the GPRTU was still interest in the cars at the old arrangement with his predecessor, the organization could go for it.

Read excerpts of the one-hour, thirty-four minutes and fifty frames(1:34:50) interview below:

Stephen Amoah: When I came, I had it known that the NDC and GPRTU had collaborated to acquire the cars for Ghanaians just like MASLOC did every time and the interest was one percent a month with insurance and other things. When I looked at the cars and I called my people and asked them what we were doing.

And two of my head of departments told me that GPRTU said the prices were high so government should pay some for them. When I did my calculations, I realized that they taxi drivers cannot pay their sales per day.  They GPRTU had complained before I took office. There is evidence.

KABA: At the time you took office, had the GPRTU complained? Is there any evidence documentation-wise?

Stephen Amoah: Yes. I called GPRTU for a meeting and we deliberated and we all analyzed the issue. When I looked at the contract, I realized that government was paying thirty percent then GPRTU will pay the rest for five years.

So I made a comparison that per MASLOC`s policy, you pay 10 percent and then the rest is spread out for you to pay.  But GPRTU was paying 10 percent and pay then rest for five yrs. So I stressed that if so, then we should use the old policy. When I suggested this, the GPRTU chairman told me that we should not give people the chance to say that when the NPP came to power, things are becoming rigid.

So, I agreed and said lets go back to the old regime and how it was done.  I then presented the prices to them and asked if they wanted the cars but the secretary told me they would go and think about it and come back. They didn’t come back till I called them again in a meeting. In the third meeting with the regional GPRTU leadership, this was the same issue we discussed.

In the document, one of the vehicle types is Chevrolet Aveo, was 150 in number and if you divided by the estimated amount, one would cost   GH¢74, 494.

Also, Chevrolet Spark Lite were 100 in number and one will cost GH¢ 65000.

The mini buses with thirty three seats were also 100 in number and one would cost GH¢445,560.

A document titled “RELEASE OF FUNDS” to GPRTU was signed by Hon. Seth Terkper former finance minister on the 5th Dec, 2016 that 37 million should be released to the former CEO of MASLOC to procure the vehicles for GPRTU. The contract was signed on the 6th but the funds were ordered to be released on the 5th which is an inconsistency.

When we came, we realized the prices of the vehicles were high so we told GPRTU that we could give the cars to them if they wish then they came in that government gives subsidies to farmers and fishermen so it should subsidies for them. I told them if everyone decides to want that, there will be chaos in the state.

I reported the issue to the chief of staff when I saw the mode of the contract and she advised me to hand over the issue to my deputy who is a lawyer to look into it since I am into finance. Within this period, I was still holding meetings with the car company and they were still firm not to reduce the prices but I kept on till they reduced it. I was rather fighting to get a better deal for GPRTU.

We are ready to give out the cars to GPRTU but they are rather saying the cars are expensive. I am not in office to make things worse.

I am changing the face and the operational structure of MASLOC. I am putting proper structures in place. We had only 25 offices when I came in and I am making sure that by the end of the year, ninety percent of the districts will have MASLOC offices. We are putting a lot of things in place and making sure that MASLOC will be a professionally run office. We are making sure that our interfaces are closer to the market.

My deputies and I may not be too perfect but we have gained enough experience and knowledge in our education to man the fort.

The country is doing well under Nana Addo and we will ensure that everything goes well.

KABA: When did Chief of staff give you the go ahead to do the forensic audit?

What is the fate of the 350 cars?

We are still trying that the suppliers will reduce the prices. When all is well and the GPRTU comes and shows interest, we will give it to them. If they still refrain, we will talk informally to the STC to help see how best we can improvise.

I am being cautious not to incompetently sign any deal which will give people the grounds to bastardize me and our government.

 

MASLOC is a microfinance apex body responsible for implementing the Government of Ghana’s (GoG) microfinance programmes targeted at reducing poverty.

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