June 20, 2024
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Bryan Acheampong’s hotel gave the best offer for 60% share in 4 hotels – SSNIT

The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), has explained its decision to sell a 60% stake in four of its hotels to Rock City Hotel, owned by Bryan Acheampong, Ghana’s Minister for Food and Agriculture and New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Abetifi Constituency.

In a statement issued on Sunday, May 19, SSNIT explained that Rock City Hotel Limited submitted the best and strongest technical and financial proposal among the bids received, meeting the criteria set out in the Request for Proposals (RFP).

According to SSNIT, the selection process was transparent and strictly adhered to the Public Procurement Act. The Trust emphasised that there was no favoritism involved in selecting Rock City Hotel Limited.

SSNIT explained that the decision to partner with an investor was initiated to raise capital for further investments in their hotels and to enhance their management. 

This process began in 2018 through International Competitive Tendering (ICT) procedures, ensuring a fair and competitive selection process.

In its press release, SSNIT detailed the process, noting that it began in November 2018 when they hired a Transaction Advisor. 

The Trust also insisted that the Advisor’s role was to guide the selection of a strategic investor to partner with SSNIT in managing and improving the hotels.

“Based on the criteria set out in the RFP, Rock City Hotel submitted the best and strongest technical and financial proposal amongst those received. Consequently, it is in negotiation with SSNIT to buy a 60% stake in each of the four (4) hotels (Labadi Beach Hotel, La Palm Royal Beach Resort, Ridge Royal Hotel and Elmina Beach Resort).

“Bids for Busua Beach Resort and the Trust Lodge were considered to be unsuccessful so they are no longer part of the hotels covered in this process,” an excerpt of their statement said.

This development follows a formal petition lodged by North Tongu MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, with the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to investigate the processs surrounding the sale of six hotels.

The hotels mentioned in the petition include Labadi Beach Hotel, La Palm Royal Beach Resort, Elmina Beach Resort, Ridge Royal Hotel, Busua Beach Resort, and the Trust Lodge Hotel. 

However, SSNIT clarified that the bids were successful for only four hotels and not the entire six as claimed by the MP.

Mr Ablakwa’s petition calls for an investigation into various allegations, including conflict of interest, abuse of power, lack of due process, procurement breaches, cronyism, and graft.

In his petition, Mr Ablakwa highlights what he views as violations of constitutional provisions, specifically citing Articles 78(3) and 98(2) of the 1992 Constitution. He contends that these actions represent significant breaches of legal and ethical standards.

Additionally, in a Facebook post on Friday, May 17, Mr Ablakwa argued that Bryan Acheampong’s alleged involvement in the hotel sale without the permission of the Speaker of Parliament constitutes a breach of parliamentary protocol regarding holding offices of profit. 

This, according to Mr Ablakwa, is a serious violation that requires thorough investigation and accountability.

“In my petition, I am inviting CHRAJ to investigate grave matters bordering on conflict of interest, abuse of power, lack of due process, procurement breaches, cronyism, and graft.”

“I have also drawn attention to blatant violations of Article 78(3) and 98(2) of the 1992 Constitution as diligent checks from Parliament’s Committee on Office of Profit reveal that Hon. Bryan Acheampong has not applied and does not have the permission of the Speaker of Parliament to hold an office of profit,” he said.

However, according to SSNIT, the strategy to partner with an investor to raise capital to invest in their hotels, and also assist in their management, started as far back as 2018 through International Competitive Tendering (ICT) processes as prescribed by the Public Procurement Act.

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