“We Didn’t Sponsor Blay” GNPC
Pressure is mounting on Freddie Blay, the newly elected National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) barely a week after his election, to disclose the source of funding for the procurement of 275 buses for the party’s constituencies.
Mr. Blay last week was the subject of discussion after he imported some buses into the country for the party, days into the NPP’s National Delegates Conference.
Ever since, the man at the centre of the controversy appears to have courted public attention to himself with others calling for probe into the source of funding for the procurement of the buses.
Already, the National House of Chiefs, Togbe Afede has suggested that the NPP Chairman must be investigated.
The Minority members in Parliament have waded into the controversy calling for an immediate forensic audit of the financial books of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), the very institution embattled Blay is a Board member.
However, in order not to get caught in the crossfire GNPC has stated categorically that it did not play any role in financing the campaign of the Mr. Blay.
This dissociation comes after the Minority requested an immediate audit of the GNPC accounts following what it called the “vulgar opulence” of its board chairman, Blay.
In a statement issued by Parliament’s minority, Mr. Blay being someone who manages Ghana’s oil and gas reserves, was expected to engage in the highest form of modesty and prudence while he contested NPP chairmanship.
According to them, he rather partook in the “unconscionable extravagant purchase of 275 buses for NPP constituency executives after depositing his so-called personal funds of US$3 million in an US$ 11.4 million transaction which has sparked national outrage.”
Mr. Blay shared “hordes of cash to delegates plus the distribution of tonnes of goodies in the form of branded snacks and other consumables,” and this they said, marks a new low in Ghana’s democratic credentials.
But Dr. Kofi Koduah Sarpong, GNPC, Chief Executive clarified that GNPC never supported Mr. Blay, adding that the “corporation has a robust financial system that will not allow any official to approve or receive funds to support programmes not set out in its work programme and budget that is approved by Parliament.”
Dr Sarpong indicated that, GNPC’S records were available for verification anytime by anyone.
“We wish to let the public know that GNPC’s financial records are audited by Ernst and Young, one of the “Big Four” international auditing firms, which adheres to very high standards,” the GNPC noted in a statement.
It is still not clear who did the procurement, whether it was Mr. Blay as a person or NPP as an organisation.
The goal post keeps changing―creating a conundrum of secrecy and distrust.
But Mr. Blay says it’s ‘foolish’ to question the timing of buying his buses.
He expressed surprise at the public backlash that has met his decision to procure buses for the party.
According to him, it was not unprecedented for individuals or groups to fund their political parties in cash or kind so he cannot understand why his decision has attracted so much controversy.
Speaking on Joy FM, yesterday, Mr. Blay said, “It’s not me sitting here buying it, I am doing it for the party as chairman with others,” adding that the buses were meant to be used for commercial purposes by the party.
Source: Grace Ablewor Sogbey/ firstname.lastname@example.org