DR Joseph Siaw Agyepong, Executive Chairman of Jospong Group of Companies, has refuted allegations that a $74 million waste bins supply contract his companies won with government two years ago had been terminated for failing to deliver.
There had been media reports in the past few days that the contracts awarded five subsidiaries of Jospong Group of Companies to deliver waste bins had been abrogated due to nonperformance.
Dr Agyepong told journalists at a press soiree organised at Alisa Hotel in Accra, that the two-year contract elapsed by itself as government did not have funds to commit to it. “It was never a case of Jospong’s failure to deliver; the contracts elapsed naturally,” he said.
It was never a case of Jospong’s failure to deliver; the contracts elapsed naturally
The Executive Chairman also clarified that, contrary to widespread speculations in some media circles, his companies never delivered waste bins to the MMDAs. “Those media reports were pure mischief and the recent announcement vindicates us,” he added.
It may be recalled that two years ago, news broke out that five subsidiary companies in the Jospong Group had been contracted by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) to supply one million pieces of waste bins and nine hundred thousand (900,000) bin liners to the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) at a cost of $74 million.
On the issue of alleged high costs of the bins, Dr Agyepong stated categorically that it was a matter of the quality and durability of the bins that were expected to be supplied. According to Dr Agyepong, the costs of waste bins highly depended on a number of factors, including the amount and type of virgin materials used in manufacturing the bins. He concluded that “if the virgin material is cheap, the costs of the bins may be low but the bins will break down in no time. We use quality virgin materials to manufacture our bins, and so our bins are of very high quality”.
Dr. Agyepong also disclosed to the journalists that Ecobank Ghana had offered Zoomlion Ghana Limited a loan facility of US$10 million to produce bins for execution of a project dubbed One Bin: One Household. The waste bins are to be produced and distributed to various households nationwide, to halt littering and indiscriminate dumping of wastes at unauthorized places. The project, which is to take off early this year, is one of Zoomlion’s flagship projects introduced to help achieve the President’s sanitation vision.
Dr Agyepong charged all and sundry to see waste not as a nuisance but a resource to be mined, just like diamond, gold and other mineral resources, to help develop the country
Additionally, according to Dr Agyepong, Zoomlion had secured various funds to build mobile compost plants in parts of the country to process wastes into compost to contribute to helping improve soil fertility. This is part of the company’s commitment to deliver on a full cycle of waste management, not just collection and dumping of wastes.
He encouraged all stakeholders to rally behind Zoomlion and other sanitation industry players to the clean Ghana agenda.
‘Media report was sheer mischief’
Below is the full text of the statement issued by the management of Jospong Group of Companies, owners of Zoomlion, on a $74million bins contract awarded to it by government.
THE attention of the Management of Jospong Group has been drawn to the above publication from the Multimedia– Group on the above heading claiming that a so-called investigation by the media agency has led to the cancellation of the above contract.
We wish to state that we find the publication quite unfortunate, misleading and sheer mischief from a once respected media group like the multimedia. As a matter of principle, the Jospong Group is not keen on responding to every issue that is raised in the media but is compelled to comment on this because of the falsehood being peddled in the publication to assuage any discomfort it has created.
In August 2017, when the same issue was raised by the Multimedia Group with some erroneous information trying to impugn wrongdoing to the company on this particular contract, the Jospong Group issued a statement clarifying the details of that contract. At the time, the reporter created the impression that monies had been released by the government for the execution of the project which was completely false!
The company earlier in 2017, gave a detailed information on the status of the contract which was a ‘Pre-Financing and Credit Sale’ contract-simply meaning, the contractor, in this case the companies that won the contract, would PRE-FINANCE the project which was to supply a total of 1,000,000 bins and 900,000 pieces of biodegradable bin liners at a total cost of 74,040,000 United States Dollars.
It was made clear at the time that the contract had a payment term and life span of 24 months, which then indicates that the contract naturally elapses after 24 months which is two years – a fact which multimedia is aware of, but tried to play heroism by pretending that the contract had been canceled because of their investigation. We dare the media mogul to produce the letter or document that states that the contract had been “canceled due to their investigations”.
We wish to place on record that the concept of providing the waste bin as part of the solutions to Ghana’s environmental sanitation problem was initiated by Zoomlion Ghana Limited and its mother company, the Jospong Group. On assumption of office by the new government, the company approached the ministry to discuss the terms of this “One million bin” concept and contract with them, but the ministry, though lauded the initiative, indicated it could not carry it through due to financial constraints, hence our backing down on the execution of the contract.
As stated in the letter from the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, dated 29th November 2018 and signed by the Chief Director, “I have been directed to invite your attention to the fact that the contracts have lapsed on account of non-performance by the contracting companies.” “Accordingly, the listed contracts have lapsed on THEIR OWN TERMS per clause 34 (a) as …within the stipulated time.”
It is therefore unfortunate and very distasteful that the Multimedia Group would like to deceive the public with such a false publication! For their education, 16th November 2016 to 29th November 2018 is 24 months, that is two years – which is the span of the contract.
As the leading waste management company in the country and Africa, with such vast experience in the provision of integrated waste management solutions, we firmly believe that the acquisition of waste bins by every household and the placement of same in designated public areas hold the key to solving the waste management problem and putting Ghana on the path of achieving the President’s vision of making Accra the cleanest city.
We are therefore very focused on delivering on our core business of keeping our communities clean, green and healthy and advise the general public to reject the false publication by the multimedia and its journalists with the disdain that it deserves.
You may kindly contact the undersigned for further clarification.
Group Head of Communications
Jospong Group of Companies