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Ato Forson Opens Up On ‘Stinking’ Ambulance Deal…Says He Is Innocent   
 
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19-Sep-2017  
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Cassiel Ato Forson
 
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Former Deputy Finance Minister, Cassiel Ato Forson, has denied media reports suggesting that he sanctioned the purchase of some ambulances that were declared unfit to be used.

His comment comes on the heels of revelations made by the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, that the 30 ambulances purchased were not fit for the purposes for which they were procured.

The 30 were the first of 200 ambulances procured by the government of Ghana through Big Sea Trading LLC in a contract signed on 19 December 2012.

Mr Agyemang-Manu, who led a group of journalists to inspect the ambulances a few days ago, noted that although it has been established that 30 ambulances supplied by Big Sea Ltd. were not fit for the purpose, an amount of €2.4 million had been disbursed from the consolidated fund to pay for the ambulances. 

Commenting on the matter on his Facebook page, Mr Forson said: "I want to put on record that the Ministry of Finance only acted upon an instruction from the Ministry of Health to issue at sight letters of credit on their behalf using MOH 2014 budgetary allocations...I, Cassiel Ato Forson acting as Deputy Minister of Finance then NEVER made PAYMENT to BIG SEAS for the supply of ambulances"

Below is his full post

I have become aware of a series of media reportage indicating that I, Cassiel Ato Forson acting as the Deputy Finance Minister authorized payment of some defective ambulances 'procured' in 2014 by the ministry of health.

I want to put on record that the Ministry of Finance only acted upon instruction from the Ministry of Health to issue a sight Letter of Credit on their behalf, utilizing MOH 2014 budgetary allocations.

Subsequently, as is laid down practice, the Ministry of Finance requested the Controller and Accountant General's Department to pay for the bank charges accrued to the Bank of Ghana as a result of the issuance of letters of credit on behalf of the Ministry of Health.

It must be noted that the beneficiary of the payment is Bank of Ghana, which charges Government for many financial service--as commercial banks do for their clients.

It is important to note that letters of credit issued by the Bank of Ghana is only a guarantee for payment and not payment in itself. 
It is only when the supplier fulfils their part of the obligation under the contract that payment will be made from the Udgetary allocation of the Ministry requesting the opening of the LC.

The Ministry of Finance does not have the technical competency to evaluate and reject the contract of service or supply from sector or technical ministries.

In modern business practice, a letter of credit (LC) also known as a Documentary Credit, is a written commitment by a bank issued after a request by an importer (foreign buyer) that payment will be made to the beneficiary (exporter) provided that the terms and conditions stated in the LC have been met, as evidenced by the presentation of specified documents.

At Sight — A credit that the announcer bank immediately pays after inspecting the carriage documents from the seller.

Note, in both cases that the underlying contract and specificationd are agreed between the buyer and seller, not the paying institutions actin on their behalf.

Finally, I, Cassiel Ato Forson acting as Deputy Minister of Finance then NEVER made PAYMENT to BIG SEAS for the supply of ambulances.
 
 
Source: Peacefmonline.com
 
 

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