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SSNIT hasn’t responded to the fundamental issue; how was Rock City selected? – Ablakwa asks

SSNIT hasn’t responded to the fundamental issue; how was Rock City selected? – Ablakwa asks.

National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for North Tongu constituency, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, says the statement from the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) defending attempts to sell off 60% stake in its hotels to Rock City Hotel, has failed to address the key issues.

Mr Ablakwa has petitioned the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to investigate the processes surrounding the sale of six hotels, alleging conflict of interest, abuse of power, and lack of due process.

The North Tongu MP argues that SSNIT’s sale of a 60% stake in its hotels to the owner of Rock City Hotel, who’s the Minister for Agriculture and Member of Parliament for Abetifi, Brian Acheampong, constitutes conflict of interest.

The MP also suspects foul play and believes the public has been kept in the dark about the transaction.

However, SSNIT in a press statement explained that the selection process for the sale was transparent and in strict compliance with the Public Procurement Act, and that the search for a strategic investor was not fully conclusive.

It said Rock City Hotel Limited submitted the best and strongest technical and financial proposal among the bids received, meeting the criteria set out in the Request for Proposals (RFP).

The hotels mentioned in the petition include Labadi Beach Hotel, La Palm Royal Beach Resort, Elmina Beach Resort, Ridge Royal Hotel, Busua Beach Resort, and the Trust Lodge Hotel.

But SSNIT clarified that the bids were successful for only four hotels and not the entire six as claimed by the MP.

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In response to SSNIT’s statement, Mr Ablakwa told Joy News the explanations do not address the question of how Mr Acheampong’s hotel won the bid.

“If you look at the statement SSNIT has put out, they do not respond to the fundamental issues. The crust of the matter is totally avoided. I have raised a fundamental issue of conflict of interest.

“The Honorable Bryan Acheampong should have been nowhere near this transaction. SSNIT has not addressed that fundamental issue,” he said.

Additionally, he said the SSNIT failed to address how Rock City was selected stressing that “You cannot just claim that Rock City presented the best financial and technical proposal. Where is the evidence? SSNIT does not provide the evidence”he argued.

He continued that “If you look at their own statement, they say that they started this procurement process on 14th November 2018. Rock City started its operation, a year after, November 2019.”

The North Tongu MP has called on CHRAJ to act expeditiously and halt the deal because, without his intelligence, the deal would have been closed this week.

He said despite the President’s admonition to his appointees who want to make money to target the private sector, they are now violating his directives and “taking over hotels that belong to the people of Ghana, and President Akufo-Addo is quiet. Why is President Akufo-Addo quiet?”he quizzed.

Source : Joynews

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