TANIT must refund money with interest, but the Education Ministry ignored advice- Africa Education Watch

Executive Director of Africa Education Watch Koti Asare says the controversies surrounding the Tanit contract shows that the Education Ministry failed to learn from the Blue Grass calculator deal.

The education research firm and policy think tank noted that it had advised the ministry against the contract but it failed to listen.

“Eduwatch raised serious value for money issues about the arrangement, as the price of the same product was cheaper on the streets of Liberia compared to our bulk purchase.

The MoE didn’t just ignore our advice, but as usual, denied Eduwatch a copy of the contract for our review, after we wrote officially. Why won’t such contracts be a secret?”

He said “MoE didn’t just ignore our advice, but as usual, denied Eduwatch a copy of the contract for our review, after we wrote officially. Why won’t such contracts be a secret?

Unsurprisingly, similar to Tanit Ltd, this company failed to deliver according to the contract. In the final analysis, the MoE was compelled to abrogate the contract after Blue Grass Ltd supplied only half.

The only benefit of Single-or Sole/Sourced procurement in Ghana is political, as politically connected companies get juicy contracts. It confers no economy benefit to the state.”

For no work done, he wants TANIT to refund the money and pay interest on it.

“Tanit Ltd must refund the GHC 850k quick. That cash can build two JHS for two underserved communities in the north. Any further delays will attract an interest.”

The Education Ministry is demanding a refund of an amount of GH₵859,115.46 from TANIT Ltd, technology company.

The Ministry stated that the demand for the refund was due to the company’s failure to execute the development and operation of a digital teacher training content and platform within the specified duration.

In a letter dated August 18, 2022, the Ministry explained that it will advise itself if TANIT Ltd fails to comply with the final demand notice.

The Ministry referenced letters dated June 22, 2022, June 24, 2022, and July 18, 2022, all in relation to the contract agreement signed on July 26, 2021.

In the letter dated 22nd June 2022, the Ministry requested the IT Company to refund all payments made to it for failing to meet the tenets of the contract signed between the two parties on 26th July, 2021.

In another letter dated 18th July 2022, the Ministry reminded the company to refund all payments as they did not perform their obligation under the contract agreement, which was supposed to be completed within five months.

But reacting, the Executive Director of Africa Education Watch noted that “Tanit Ltd is evidence that the Ministry of Education (MoE) did not learn from the bitter Blue Grass Calculator deal. Maybe it was only bitter to the tax payer.

In 2020, the MoE through another controversial Single/Sole Sourced procurement method picked Blue Grass Ltd to supply over 800,000 pieces KAPEK Scientific Calculators for 2020 WASSCE at the cost of GHC 63 million.

For some strange reason, MoE decided to procure through this ‘unknown’ company while the KAPEK manufacturers themselves sat in Dubai and London.

Eduwatch raised serious value for money issues about the arrangement, as the price of the same product was cheaper on the streets of Liberia compared to our bulk purchase.

The MoE didn’t just ignore our advice, but as usual, denied Eduwatch a copy of the contract for our review, after we wrote officially. Why won’t such contracts be a secret?

Unsurprisingly, similar to Tanit Ltd, this company failed to deliver according to the contract. In the final analysis, the MoE was compelled to abrogate the contract after Blue Grass Ltd supplied only half.

The only benefit of Single-or Sole/Sourced procurement in Ghana is political, as politically connected companies get juicy contracts. It confers no economy benefit to the state.

According to a Danquah Institute report of 2016, Single and Sole Source procurement could cost the nation 65% more, compared to competitive procurement.

While the President’s Ghana Beyond Aid agenda prescribes competitive procurement, it finds little or no expression in practice. The opposite is the norm.

If we do not depart from the culture of single or sole source procurement, we shall be in this cyclical IMF marriage forever, as it constitutes a major drain on the tax cedi. No serious country borrows to spend this way.

Tanit Ltd must refund the GHC 850k quick. That cash can build two JHS for two underserved communities in the north. Any further delays will attract an interest.

Sadly, as i type at 3:45 am, i am pretty sure another sole/single source deal is being hatched.

As i keep saying, we have advanced the ‘what should we do’ stage of our development journey. We are now at ‘will we do it’? Anyone who suggests the former is disingenuous.

May God strengthen us not to give up on our leaders; and may our leaders lead, not rule.

Background

The Education Ministry in the contract expected TANIT Ltd to have performed each of the five deliverables and submit a claim respectively for work done at each stage and report for verification before moving to the next stage.

Here are the five deliverables spelt out in the contract by the Ministry to TANIT Ltd:

Submission of inception report by August 2021 attracting payment of 15 per cent of the contract sum which was met by TANIT Ltd.

Design, construct and build a platform for the training of teachers online by September, 2021 attracting payment of 25 per cent.

Develop and build curriculum design by October 2021 also attracting 20 per cent payment.

Operationalise a dashboard, platform sign off and go live by November 2021 which also attracted payment of 20 per cent.

Consultant to be required to stay on board for additional two months (December 2021 to January 2022) after the project goes live for quality assurance which attracted the remaining 20 per cent.

The bone of contention is the fact that TANIT Ltd did not submit monthly reports for the remaining four deliverables but rather lumped the four reports together and requested the payment of the remaining 85% contract sum.

In addition, TANIT Ltd also failed to complete the project within the five-month period as prescribed by the contract.

By: Rainbowradioonline.com/Ghana

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