Education ministry denies causing financial loss over math set purchase, blames Covid-19

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The Education Ministry has denied causing financial loss to the state in awarding a contract for the supply of the mathematical sets following the arrest of the supplier.

The CEO of Bluegrass Limited, Kwadwo Darko-Mensah has been arrested by the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) for allegedly failing to supply over 853,000 pieces of the mathematical sets after being given the contract without competition.

Bluegrass was agent for a foreign company contracted via sole-sourcing to supply the math sets at GHC75 each to the education ministry to be given to WASSCE candidates last year.

The math set were never supplied for the WASSCE candidates, and after the exams, Bluegrass only supplied some of the math sets and is yet to bring the rest, defeating the whole purpose of urgency, for which the were given the contract without competition and at a higher cost to the state.

Both the past and incoming education ministers steered clear of questions regarding the matter during their vetting, and that got NIB interested in the matter.

Meanwhile, excerpts of a statement issued by the ministry also read “on the 12th March of 2019, the ministry wrote to the PPA for approval to procure the items by sole sourcing due to the urgency of having the instruments in place for the 2020 WASSCE in accordance with the public procurement act at a price of GHC75 per item, totaling GHC63,975,675.

“Unfortunately, the delivery of the items for the May/June 2020 WASSE was delayed due to Covid-19 restrictions, which affected production abroad and the first batch did not arrive in time for the benefit of the candidates.”

It went on to state that “however candidates for the 2021 and beyond will benefit from them and the intention is to purchase them for all senior high school students to enable them to familiarize themselves with the items in preparation for their examinations.”

“The first batch that was received has been paid for and payment for the remainder will be made upon receipt.”

The statement added “the minister does not know the CEO of Bluegrass Limited in person. And until his voting on  Friday 11th February, 2021 was not aware of his earlier arrest by the National Intelligence Bureau on the 29th of January 2021.

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