Why waive $3.2m for math sets you’ve not seen – Nortsu-Kotoe to gov’t

A ranking member of parliament’s Education Committee and MP for Akatsi North Constituency of the Volta Region, Peter Nortsu-Kotoe has questioned why the government has decided to waive taxes and duties amounting to $3.2 million for M/S Bluegrass Group Limited to supply Kapek scientific mathematical instruments for use in the 2020 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) without inspecting a single sample of the scientific instruments.

Although Government explains that the financial arrangements is to enable the Ghana Education Service distribute 853,009 units of the devices, comprising mathematical sets and scientific calculators, to all SHS students,  the lawmaker is of the view that a proper audit ought to be carried out on the quality of the equipment which is being sole-sourced from M/S Bluegrass Group Limited.

Mr Nortsu-Kotoe claims that till date, no member of the finance committee of parliament has an idea of what is contained in the concealed package for which huge sums of public funds are being expended.

“You said the cost of the instrument is GHS75, as a committee did you look for a sample of the instrument? What about if tomorrow it turns out that we have only an eraser, a compass a protector and some miniature calculator in it? He added that if you are buying something and you don’t know, you are approving that go and buy mathematical set and you have not seen a sample of it, why? We are not saying we don’t need it. It can be provided but we are saying the procedures that they are using to procure them is what we are talking about” the MP told Blessed Sogah on Class 91.3 FM’s Current affairs programme State of the Nation

The request for the waiver was presented to the House on June 23, 2020, by a Deputy Minister of Finance, Mrs Abena Osei-Asare, on behalf of the Minister of Finance, and the Speaker referred it to the Finance Committee for consideration and report.

The approval came on Wednesday, 15 July 2020 after the Chairman of the Finance Committee, Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah, had presented the committee’s report for the House to adopt and approve the request. The waiver will allow the entity to enjoy tax rebates on import duty, National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL) import, GETFund import, Value Added Tax (VAT) import, EXIM levy and special levy on the instruments.

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