A company, Debsther Klean Recycle Limited, has petitioned the Head of Government Transitional Team, Julius Debrah, over what it describes as “flagrant breach” of the e-waste contract signed between the company and the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Mahama Ayariga.
In the letter dated Monday, December 19, signed by Kissi Agyebeng Managing Partner of Cromwell Gray LLP, Kissi Agyebeng and copied the co-chair of the in-coming President’s Transition Team, Yaw Osafo-Marfo, the company threatened to initiate a court action against the government if Mr. Ayariga declined to respect legal arrangement made in the original agreement.
The situation could result in the state paying another judgement debt.
The company said it signed the contract together with SGS Societe Generale de Surveillance SA to solely finance the construction of a e-waste recycling facility without any cost to the government in September, but Mr. Ayariga truncated the process quite recently and replaced them with a new firm known as Contecna.
The letter was also copied to the Chief Executive of the Public Procurement Authority, Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Chief Executive of Societe Generale de Surveillance SA (SGS), who were all parties to the award of the contract and the subsequent sod-cutting on November 25.
It explained that Desther Klean Recycle Limited, a company incorporated under the laws of the country and local partner of SGS, submitted a proposal to the Ministry for the management of electronic waste in Ghana in September, 2015.
According to the letter, the proposal was received and led to the conclusion of an agreement in Paris between the SGS and EPA by which the parties were bound for the control, management and disposal of hazardous waste, electrical and electronic waste and other related purposes.
“The agreement was accented to by Mr. Ayariga and the Executive Director of EPA, Mr. Daniel Amalo,” it stated, and explained that it had three modules the first module being the establishment of controls over imported electronic waste, as well as new and used electronic products.
It indicated further that collection of advance recycling eco-fees to finance a sustainable waste management programme was captured under the second module while the third included the construction and management of an e-recycling plant by a company selected by EPA.
The letter said the master agreement formed the backdrop of the passage into law of the Hazardous and Electronic Waste Control Management Act 917 the formulation of which the SGS supported EPA with technical resources.
“Desther worked with the EPA as resource entities for the Parliamentary Sub-committee on Environment.
“Also Desther and EPA supported a study tour of the members of the committee in Eindhoven to apprise themselves with the best practices in electronic waste management.”
The letter said by a financial agreement dated September 15, this year between EPA, SGS and Desther, SGS firmed its obligation to finance the construction of the e-waste recycling facility without cost to the government and Desther was obliged under the agreement to provide EPA and SGS with a proposal on financial and technical terms for the construction of the e-recycling facility, upon the performance of a feasibility study by the parties.
According to the letter, a memorandum of understanding signed on October 11 this year between EPA and Desther allowed the parties to, in principle, reach an enforceable agreement in 90 days for the establishment of the facility.
It said the agreement further obliged Desther to design, construct and operate a facility for the recycling of electronic waste, while EPA retained 40 per cent of the facility, representing revenue to be accrued from the downstream sales of recycled materials.
The company asserted that following the agreement, a sod-cutting ceremony was performed on November 25 which was chaired by the Greater Accra Regional Minister on behalf of the President.
It said the Minister, however, in total breach of the contract, had sought to remove both Desther and SGS from the contract and replaced them with Contecna under a sole-sourcing procurement process.
“Our client Desther, SGS and EPA have been the key entities engaged in the entire project under a sole financing contract, but it is inconceivable that Mr. Ayariga is now advertising such a volte-face and passing off entities that are totally strangers to the project and have no interest and expertise in that relationship,” it said.
The letter, therefore, called on the government to reconsider its decision and respect the terms and conditions of the contract, or the parties on the contract might resort to legal action.
By Charles Amankwa