Ghanaian firm, Smarttys Management and Production Limited, has rejected claims by minority MPs that it was contracted as the country representative for a Chinese firm that allegedly over-bloated the cost of a government electrification project.
Smarttys is said to be representing China Hunan Construction Engineering Group, which would be undertaking the electrification project in the country.
According to Parliament, Crown Agents said the project was overpriced by about $9 million.
‘Bloated’ electrification project: Gov’t has no contract with Smarttys – Jinapor
But a statement signed by Kissi Agyebeng, Managing Partner of Cromwell Gray LLP, and lawyer for Smarttys, said his client is not a party to the contract.
The statement explained that Smarttys only provided public relations service to the Chinese company.
“Our client dissociates themselves from the execution of any such contract between the government of Ghana and the other indicated party, China Hunan construction engineering group or any such entity. Our clients are not parties to the contract as reported in sections of the media. Our clients have, when requested at various times provided merely public relation services for China Hunan construction engineering group,” the statement said.
It also added that “this does not elevate our clients to the status of parties to the contract executed by the government of Ghana.”
They have further threatened to sue media houses or any person or group which drags them into the matter for the purposes of defaming them.
Gov’t has no contract with Smarttys
A Deputy Minister for Power, Abu Jinapor, had earlier clarified that government did not sign a contract with Smartty to execute the project but rather with the Chinese firm.
Speaking to Citi News, the Deputy Power Minister, John Jinapor, noted; “The government of Ghana has no contract with Smayttys. Unlike the earlier deal about the branding, the government of Ghana has no contract with Smarttys. The government of Ghana has a contract with Hunan construction and Hunan construction is at liberty to engage any other local counterpart, whether for PR purposes or any other purpose.”
Smarttys overpriced a bus re-branding contract
Late last year, an official investigation into a major bus branding scandal found that Ghanaian firm Smarttys over-billed the state by more than Ghc1.5 million in a Ghc3.6 million contract to re-brand 116 Metro Mass Transit buses.
Under intense public pressure, the Presidency ordered the company to cough up the excess funds it unjustly took from the state.
Officials say although some initial refund has been made, Smarttys still owes the state more than one million cedis. Smarttys is owned by Ghanaian actress and TV Host, Selassie Ibrahim.