A web based contract at NASSIT recently awarded Silver Lakes Company; a Malaysian firm operating in Ghana, valuing US$8 million (correspondingly Le 64 billion) has raised concern over allegations of US$1.5 million bribe.
They say due process on the award of the contract was not followed by management of NASSIT, and that the Director General Joseph Sedu Mans, influenced the process devoid of the approval of the board of NASSIT amidst an unconcluded procurement procedures.
That NASSIT failed doing due diligence on Silver Lakes even though the Ghanaian Social Security had warned NASSIT-SL not to engage in any transaction with a firm that is ultimately dysfunctional following a US$72 million procurement scam.
Ghana sources say a ballooned US$27 million to US$72 million project has seen the Ghanaian government now reviewing conducts of the firm.
The element of fraud in the Ghanaian procurement has seen several people fired and some potentially going to jail.
Questions as raised by many relate to the fact that NASSIT under Joseph Mans may not have approved the US$8 million I.T project to a firm of questionable evidence of character without the due approval of the board.
The procurement, we are told, was ill advised to the point that some within NASSIT have seen it as a complete sabotage to Sierra Leone’s social security advancement.
Unconfirmed information also state that the legal division at NASSIT has written to the Director General that it will not write any agreement on the project on grounds of anti-corruption’s laws.
It is true NASSIT, years ago, purchased ferries which saw the anti-corruption compelling many including Edmund Koroma, current Sierra Leone financial secretary and close ally of the APC presidential candidate Samura Kamara make a refund of billions of Sierra Leone’s moneys.
Reference is also drawn to the auditor general’s report of 2015 in which it is stated that public’s resources stored in NASSIT seem be in limbo as the Trust has engaged in what experts have called ‘a plethora of bad investments,’ which benefits individuals as well as private people at the expense of those on whose stead the Trust’s resources are controlled.
NASSIT, according to the 2015 Auditor General’s report on the account of the government of Sierra Leone, acquired 30% stake in Sierra Akker Agricultural Project valued at Le6, 943,135,000 in 2014.
But that the contract shares certificate was not submitted for audit inspection and audited financial statements were also not submitted.
This, in the eyes of right thinking members of society, is but ‘naked corruption’ on the part of NASSIT, a trust conventionally established for the enhancement of the social security of the vulnerable of society.
The report revealed how the Trust approved a loan of US$5 million which was secured on the fixed and floating assets of Sierra Akker, “but at the end of 2014, had disbursed Le10, 245,000,000 (40% of the total loans).
The Auditors, however, recommended that the Head of Legal Division submit the shares certificate of the Trust’s 30% holding in Sierra Akker Agricultural Project and that the title documents of the “fixed and floating assets used as collateral for audit inspection within 30 days of receipt of the report as well as the financial statement.
Joseph Mans, Director General NASSIT, told the Auditors that they would ensure that the share certificate and assets register be made available for audit inspection, noted also that the audit process of its financial statements was ongoing and a finalized copy would be submitted for audit inspection.
“A fixed assets register was submitted but evidence of the title documents of fixed and floating assets used as security for the loan were not submitted for audit inspection,” the report stated.
The report added that, “evidence of the ongoing audit (for instance an engagement letter) was not submitted for audit inspection. Therefore, the issue remains unresolved.”
Experts say as at NASSIT’s disbursement of billions to Sierra Akker to acquire 30% share, the company which implicitly have 70% shares had little or no fixed or floating assets used as collateral to make them benefit such a huge amount from NASSIT just like that.
Sierra Akker’s farm yard is no doubt anything to write home about, and by analysis, the company seems not have the required share that would have enticed NASSIT pay billions to acquire 30% shares.
Joseph Mans is due retirement in March and it is alleged that he has been gifting contracts and making bad business arrangements to companies the likes of Silver Lakes, Sierra Akker for a presumed reward from them.
Osman Kamara, corporate affairs director at NASSIT admits a US$8 million web based program contract was won by Silver Lakes, a Malaysian company operating in Ghana, but claimed same was advertised in the newspapers with number of companies bidding.
He claimed the process was monitored by officials of National Public Procurement Authority (NPPA) and was done according to law.
He denied knowledge of supremacy rift between the head of NASSIT and the Trust’s board chair, but admits there have been exchanged of correspondences between the two.
A state house source, however, told NEW AGE that President Koroma has ordered for a revert of the flawed web programme project awarded Silver Lakes, as well as demanding for a probing of NASSIT officials on issues linking bad taste, etc.
When New Age contacted NASSIT’s Director General Joseph Mans, he said nothing but kept sealed lips.
We intend bring to light activities of Silver Lakes in our subsequent publications.