I have’nt taken over public property – Ibrahim

Mr Ibrahim Mahama (second from right)briefing, Mr Julius Debrah (second left) and Alhaji Collins  Dauda (left) on the progress of work on the Odaw drain during the visit to the project site.

Mr Ibrahim Mahama (second from right)briefing, Mr Julius Debrah (second left) and Alhaji Collins
Dauda (left) on the progress of work on the Odaw drain during the visit to the project site.

IBRAHIM Mahama, Chief Executive of Engineers and Planners, has debunked allegations that he has taken possession of public property after branding equipment belonging to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development( MLGRD) with his company logo.

The company, which is currently dredging the Odaw River and the Korle Lagoon after the June 3 disaster, attracted media attention after issues of the embossment came to the public domain.

On Friday, government officials, including the Minister of MLGRD, Alhaji Collins Dauda, his deputy, Nii Lante Vanderpuije, and the Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah, went to the sites where the equipment had been deployed to ascertain the extent of work.

Among the entourage, was Ibrahim Mahama and officials from his company to conduct the media personnel round the work site to acquaint themselves with work done and what was needed to be done to clear the water ways.’

Using the opportunity to explain what he described as a misconception, Mr. Mahama said having been a victim of the flood because one of his vehicles was swept away by the water, he decided to lend a helping hand to dredge the waterways to facilitate easy flow of water.

He said it was at that point that his attention was drawn to the fact that the ministry had procured new equipment which could facilitate the dredging.

An excavator desilting the odaw drainHe said that there was no contract signed for the job, because it was an act of benevolence, and did not expect to be paid in any form for the work.

On why he had embossed his company logo on the Local Governments equipment, he explained that since the equipment was under his care, he thought there was the need to provide an identification for accountability.

“You cannot do such a professional job without identification for a lot of reasons,” he said.

He pleaded with those using the embossment to chastise a pure humanitarian gesture to desist from it, since such behaviour discouraged many compatriots from extending a helping hand when the need arose.

He revealed that after assessment of work, he could confidently say that it would take a year or more to desilt the drains from Alajo to Korle Lagoon, where the water empties into the sea.

Alhaji Collins Dauda buttressing some of the points made, said some of the trucks were procured by the ministry to help improve road network nationwide.

He said after clearing them from the harbour, they were supposed to be distributed to three regions to serve as rallying sites for the upper, middle and the lower belts of the country.

Alhaji Dauda mentioned the regional sites as Tamale, Suynani and Cape Coast, saying, “however we were yet to start with their deployment when the June 3, disaster struck’.

He said when it became evident that the major factor of the flooding was the huge silts formed in the channel, the support from Engineers and Planners were quickly welcomed to help alleviate the suffering of the people.

He conceded that the wrong impression and misconception were created as a result of the branding of the trucks, “however we are taking steps to also have MLGRD embossments on all the trucks to rectify the situation”.

Alhaji Dauda said arrangements had been put in place by the ministry to have the trucks serviced at their own cost, adding that as soon as the project ends, the government would take custody of all the equipment.

By Lawrence Markwei and
Edem Mensah-Tsotorme   

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