Allegations of corruption have surfaced against the Volta River Authority (VRA), implicating its leadership in a $52 million procurement scandal. The controversy centres on irregularities in the procurement process, with accusations of violating Ghana's procurement laws and inflating contract prices.
The scandal was brought to light when it was revealed that VRA, under the leadership of CEO Emmanuel Darkwa, sought approval from the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) for a sole-source tendering process to procure equipment. However, it was discovered that VRA engaged multiple third-party companies, contrary to the approved request.
According to reports, only two out of the eleven listed items were supplied by the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), Braden Europe BV, as indicated in the approval granted by the PPA. The involvement of other third-party firms in the procurement process raised concerns about inflated contract prices and a breach of procurement regulations.
Furthermore, it was revealed that General Electric (GE) of the USA, the OEM for the plants in question and a potential supplier at competitive prices, was not contacted by VRA. This deviation from the approved procurement method has raised suspicions of favouritism and mismanagement of state resources.
The accusations also point fingers at VRA's Deputy Chief Executive in charge of Engineering & Operations, Mr Edward Obeng-Kenzo, and CEO Emmanuel Antwi-Darkwa, who is beyond the retirement age. They are urged to provide explanations for the alleged misconduct and financial loss to the state.
The revelation of the procurement scandal has ignited public outcry, especially in light of Ghana's current economic challenges and the country's reliance on financial assistance from international institutions like the IMF. The incident underscores the urgent need for transparency, accountability, and adherence to procurement regulations in state institutions.
Efforts to reach VRA officials for comments on the allegations were unsuccessful at the time of reporting.