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It’s morally wrong for government officials to acquire state properties – Yankah

Former Minister of State during the Rawlings administration, Mr Kojo Yankah has condemned the action of government officials acquiring state properties and owning them.

He described such action as morally wrong.

In a Facebook post, the Founder of the Pan African Heritage Museum (PAHM) and the African University College of Communications (AUCC) said ” State Assets belong to the State and must be held in trust for all the people. It is morally wrong for Government officials to acquire and own state property. (This should not bar them from purchasing other free properties legally).”

His comments come at a time the management of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has justified the move to sell six hotels including Labadi Beach Hotel, La Palm Royal Beach Resort, Elmina Beach Resort, Ridge Royal Hotel, Busua Beach Resort, and the Trust Lodge Hotel to the Abetifi lawmaker and Minster of Food and Agriculture Bryan Acheampong.

SSNIT had stated that it is seeking to partner with a strategic investor to raise capital to invest in the hotels, and also assist in their management.

The management said the primary objective of finding a strategic investor is to increase efficiency, profitability, shareholder value, and the long-term sustainability of the SSNIT
Pension Scheme.

SSNIT was responding to North Tongu lawmaker, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, who had petitioned the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to investigate and stop the sale.

Mr Ablakwa is also seeking an investigation into various allegations, including conflict of interest, abuse of power, lack of due process, procurement breaches, cronyism, and graft.

“In my petition, I am inviting CHRAJ to investigate grave matters bothering on conflict of interest, abuse of power, lack of due process, procurement breaches, cronyism, and graft.”

“I have also drawn attention to blatant violations of Article 78(3) and 98(2) of the 1992 Constitution as diligent checks from Parliament’s Committee on Office of Profit reveal that Hon. Bryan Acheampong has not applied and does not have the permission of the Speaker of Parliament to hold an office of profit,” he said.

But a statement issued by SSNIT management said “The Trust is seeking to partner a strategic investor to raise capital to invest in the hotels, and also assist in their management. 2. The primary objective of finding a strategic investor is to increase efficiency, profitability, shareholder value, and the long-term sustainability of the SSNIT
Pension Scheme.

“Accordingly, SSNIT went through International Competitive Tendering (ICT)
processes as prescribed by the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (ACT 663), as
amended by ACT 914, for the selection of a strategic investor.”

Below is the full statement…

The attention of the Management of Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has been drawn to a discussion on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana Programme on Friday, 17th May, 2024.

The discussion partly covered SSNIT’s strategic decision to divest 60% of its stake in the six (6) hotels in its investment portfolio.
The Management of SSNIT wishes to comment as follows:

1. The Trust is seeking to partner a strategic investor to raise capital to invest in the
hotels, and also assist in their management.
2. The primary objective of finding a strategic investor is to increase efficiency,
profitability, shareholder value, and the long-term sustainability of the SSNIT
Pension Scheme.
3. Accordingly, SSNIT went through International Competitive Tendering (ICT)
processes as prescribed by the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (ACT 663), as
amended by ACT 914, for the selection of a strategic investor.
4. The Trust commenced the process with the engagement of a Transaction
Advisor through the ICT method of procurement, with publication of
advertisements in the Daily Graphic on 14th November, 2018 and in the Ghanaian
Times on 15th November, 2018.

5. The advertisement was also published in an international magazine, The Economist in its January 5-11, 2019 edition. As of January 16th, 2019 deadline, fifteen (15) firms had expressed interest in submitting bids. Of these, six (6) were shortlisted and issued with Request for Proposal (RFP) documents.
6. Approval was sought from the Central Tender Review Committee (CTRC) for the
selection of a Transaction Advisor on 12th December, 2019 and that was granted
on 24th December, 2019.
7. Following the selection of the independent Transaction Advisor to guide the
selection of a Strategic investor amongst others, further advertisements for an
9. Expression of Interest (EOI) for a Strategic Partner for the SSNIT Hotels were
placed in the Daily Graphic on 3rd February, 2022 and in the Ghanaian Times on
7th February, 2022. The advertisement was also published in The Economist
Magazine on 26th February, 2022.

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