Director General of the Ghana Maritime Authority, Kwame Owusu, has rejected claims that the Authority blew an amount of GHc10,000 on lunch for only eight people.
Kwame Owusu said such reports are mischievous and a calculated attempt to smear his reputation.
A a press conference on Tuesday, he said the amount was spent on 17 management members for multiple meetings and not on a single meeting.
[contextly_sidebar id=”rud6Ws0pbD66ESADPsOxAnaotGcU66vw”]“…we are about 17 people. Even eight people will not form a quorum for us to go ahead for a meeting.”
The Ghana Maritime Authority has been in the news for alleged misappropriation which went viral on social media.
Reports last week suggested that Kwame Owusu, authorized the payment of GHc10,000 for eight people for lunch, and a separate amount of about GHc135,000 for the cost of an end of year party to Luxe Suites Hotel; a company he owns.
Addressing the press, Kwame Owusu insisted that a meeting for the discussion of fees and other charges could not have taken place with only eight people as being speculated.
“For the record, the amount of money and meetings that took place and backed by our records in our files, is not eight participants. So the person who stole the document was only doing it out of mischief. If nothing at all it says that for the cost of food supply for the authority during the management meetings and stakeholders meetings on maritime security fees and charges at the head office. I think any academician would know that it is not eight participants,” he added.
GHc135, 000 to Luxe Suites Hotel
Mr. Owusu however confirmed claims that the Authority was to have paid an amount of GHc135,000 to Luxe Suites Hotel as cost of an end of year party for staff of the Maritime Authority.
He however said the amount was to cover food for 500 people and not 100 as being speculated.
“We will like to also respond to the issue of the Authority having GHc135,000 for end of year party. It is true; there was a GHc115, 000 of the cost of the food for 500 people. It is in management records. Some people have gone out of their way to state that there was less than 100 people. I want to bring to your attention that we have 200 workers.”
“We had met and estimated that there would be at least a partner, a wife, a child, a girlfriend that would push the number to 400. We also took into consideration the invitation of various stakeholders; Ministers, MPs, and other people so we budgeted for additional 100. 500 people were contracted and that was what the food was supposed to be. If you go out to order food and people show up or not, that food ought to be charged. The amount is also for decorations, tables and things, the music, the DJs among others,” he added.
Transport Minister orders probe into ‘suspicious’ expenses at Maritime Authority
Meanwhile, the Minister of Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, has directed the board of the Ghana Maritime Authority to investigate the alleged misappropriations.
The Transport Minister in a statement said the board is expected to make its findings available to him for an appropriate decision to be made.
“My attention has been drawn to a number of allegations against the Director General of the Ghana Maritime Authority, Mr. Kwame Owusu, which have gone viral on social media.”
“As the sector Minister with oversight responsibility over the Ghana Maritime Authority, I wish to indicate that I have directed the Board of the Authority to investigate the allegations and report to me for necessary action,” the statement added.
By: Godwin Akweiteh Allotey | citinewsroom.com | Ghana