JoyFm after about two weeks of advertising, finally played on air their documentary on Tumu Town Roads titled, “Caught in Conflict”. Obviously, the issue of the Tumu Town Roads did not start today. It came ahead of the NPP parliamentary primaries in 2020, resurfaced during the 2020 parliamentary elections and it is now back again. The minister has consistently maintained his innocence on the issue, his electorates in the Sissala East constituency believe him on that but JoyNews and the multi media think otherwise.
Any call to have our Roads fixed is a good and worthy call and we must all support such call. If contractors are fully paid and they refuse to do the work, nobody will tolerate it. So it is unfortunate JoyNews could not bring a single evidence of the full payment made to the Batuowisii company and the company taking the money and deliberately refusing to work on the road. So I do not know what the hype about the documentary is all about.
Secondly, I expected JoyNews and the multi media group to prove to us that from 2013 to date, this road contract is the only one left unattended to in the Sissala East constituency. I know for a fact that the road from Tumu passing through Bakwala to Pieng was given to contract way back before the Tumu Town Road. Until the coming of the current MP, Hon. Amidu Chinnia Issahaku, that stretch of road was abandoned and neglected. Today some work is done on that stretch of road all thanks to him. Besides, there are three road contracts supposed to be executed in Tumu Town. Two of such roads were awarded way before the one used by JoyNews in their documentary. Has JoyNews taken their time to ask about that or they have ulterior motives which make the two contracts irrelevant to them? Wouldn’t it have been more objective and more prudent for the documentary to cover on all three contracts? And even in that case, wouldn’t it have been more reasonable and objective for the documentary to place emphasis on the first two contracts which were awarded much earlier?
Thirdly, I expected JoyNews and the Multi media group to show to the world the conflict of interest in the whole thing. I believe in determining a conflict of interest situation, getting answers from the JoyNews documentary to these questions will be relevant:
1. Does the minister hold any share or shares in the company?
2. Did the minister facilitate/directly involve in awarding the project to the company?
3. Is there anything wrong with a relation of minister doing a government project on his/her own? This is a big NO. Engineers and Planners of Ibrahim Mahama did a lot of projects when John Mahama was president. Even in US Ivanka Trump and her husband were all employed in the government sector when Donald Trump was president.
4. Has the minister ever been employed in the company?
5. Did the minister participate in the final decision before the project was awarded?
6. Is the Batuowisii company a Limited liability company? Limited liability companies are separate and independent entities and they operate on their own. They enjoy their profits alone and carry their liabilities on their own heads. You cannot push their problems unto the head of another person just because of their blood relations. We can all do our independent research on Limited liability companies and how they operate. So, if the minister doesn’t own the company, how should he be the one paying their fertilizer debts/liabilities?
Fourthly, in the same 2019 that the Batuowisii company was awarded the contract to do the Tumu Town Roads, the Department of Urban Roads also awarded the contracts for Lambusie town roads and Hamile town roads. The question is, have those roads been done and what is their current state? Why is JoyNews and the Multi media group not interested in that one too?
Also is the government owing the Batuowiisi Company for the work they’ve done? Is it the case that even the about 30% work done on the road, the company has not received any payment? Is the Department of Urban Roads able to raise a certificate of payment?
On the supposed tax evasion, can JoyNews and the Multi media group tell us which entity does business with government and pay their tax before doing their work? Is it not the case that the government always take the tax component when it’s finally making payment to the company? Is it not the same way government does with his public sector workers? Which public sector worker takes his/her salary and then go to pay his income tax to the government? Government always takes its tax when controller and Accountant General Department credits the account of the various workers. So why is JoyNews and the Multi media trying to create an impression of wrongdoing and illegality when there’s absolutely nothing like that?