Energy Minister, Matthew Opoku Prempeh has refuted publications of a ”create, loot and share” in the procurement of laptop computers to some tertiary school teachers in the country.
Earlier reports indicated that the Minister superintended a shady sole sourcing purchase of over 300000 laptops at a cost of Ghc 1500 each which was to be supplied by a firm called K.A Technologies Ghana Ltd.
In an exclusive interview with Kwami Sefa Kayi on Peace FM’s ”Kokrokoo” Thursday morning, the Minister debunked the claims saying there had never been a time when he sole sourced nor engaged in any devious procurement of computers for the tertiary school teachers but rather the teachers were the one who came to his office, when he was the Education Minister, with a plea for help.
According to him, three teacher Unions, specifically GNAT, NAGRAT and CCT, came to him explaining that they need government’s assistance with paying for the cost of the laptops which they had already contracted a vendor to give them.
He expounded that, upon hearing the teacher’s request, he forwarded the contract to the appropriate authorities who, in reply, gave their consent resulting in the distribution of the laptops to the teachers.
”They (teachers) had signed the contract already. The three teacher unions already had who was going to supply them the laptops. The three teacher unions had already agreed on the cost of the laptop” and afterwards went to the Ghana Education Service after visiting the then Education Minister’s office.
”The Ghana Education Service and the teachers returned to me that the government should pay a certain percentage for them. I sent their letter and the contract to the Public Procurement Authority and the Authority accepted it that if the teachers have selected their vendor and the Ghana Education Service says the government should assist with paying 70%, then we should go ahead. I then wrote the Board of the Ghana Education Trust Fund that the government’s policy on STEM education and everything, now the Ministry of Finance under the ‘1D1F’, we’re setting up a factory which will equip every classroom in every school with a computer lab.
” . . if we have done it for every school, we should take care of the teachers as well. So, this programme that the teachers, themselves, brought to me is in the right direction. Now that they are distributing the laptops, it isn’t I who launched it. I wasn’t even called; I wasn’t a part of it.”
He stated categorically that he had no hand in the purchase of the laptop computers stressing ”the teachers, themselves, used their pension money from the Ghana Educational Pension Scheme to buy the GETFUND bond to finance the government’s 70 percent. Today, they’re distributing (the laptops) to the teachers”.
He challenged any person who has evidence to the contrary of what he’s said to provide it stating, “I will resign if any person can provide evidence that I signed contract with teachers that I am buying them laptops. Let the person show you the evidence and I will resign today from government”.
GES commences distribution of TM1 laptops to teachers
The Ghana Education Service (GES) on September 9 this year said it had commenced the distribution of the One Teacher One Laptop labelled Teacher Mate 1 (TM1).
According to a statement signed by the Head of Public Relations, Cassandra Twum Ampofo, the GES has distributed to all teachers at St. Mary’s Girls Senior High School (SHS).
“Distribution of the TM1 has commenced and all teachers at the St. Mary’s Girls SHS have received theirs,” the statement said.
It said, “the supply of the Teacher Mate 1 laptops was an initiative of the Teacher Unions (GNAT NAGRAT, CCT) to procure for all teachers at the pre-tertiary level to enhance the delivery of quality education in terms of planning, research, teaching and reporting”.
The total cost of the TM1 laptop per one, according to the GES is Ghs1, 831.47.
Government has absorbed Ghs1,282.30 whiles the teacher pays Ghs549.44.