REJOINDER, SETTING THE RECORDS STRAIGHT (WORLD CUP COMMISSION)
Since we returned home after the World Cup in Brazil, we have decided to keep quiet in the face of numerous insults, taunts, provocations, misrepresentations, and outright lies that have been peddled about our person, our intentions and our actions in relation to Ghana’s participation in the World Cup.
We decided to keep quiet out of the great respect we have for His Excellency the President, the Minister of Youth and Sports and the Commission set up by the President and we the members of the World Cup Committee have done everything possible to cooperate with the Commission to the best of our ability.
Unfortunately the events of the last 24 hours have compelled us to break our silence.
Yesterday 2 members of the Committee appeared before the Commission. The first was the Chairman of the Marketing and Sponsorship Sub-Committee who also doubled as the Chairman of the Operational Committee.
The next was the Chairman of the Events, Grounds and Logistics Sub-Committee, Mr Horace Ankrah. As Mr Ankrah took his turn to answer questions, the chairman of the Commission, Justice Senyo Dzamefe referred to a document which Mr. Horace Ankrah had submitted as an exhibit, entitled: Reports and Recommendations of the Events, Grounds and Logistics Sub-Committee.
The relevant portions of that report are produced as below:
SOURCE APPROPRIATE FOOD VENDORS
The committee interviewed the following caterers, after they had submitted their proposals, for consideration to provide catering services in Brazil on behalf of the Ministry of Youth and Sports for government sponsored supporters. The committee was determined to look for caterers with the ability and capacity to deliver.
• Ambar Quality Foods Limited
• Monees Foods
• Kenkey Boutique Enterprise
• Ultimate Catering Services
• Dimic Catering Services
• Fry “n” Bake Catering and Restaurant Services
• Lipsmacking Enterprise
• Bahmed Catering Services
Each caterer had a minimum of two appearances before the committee during the screening process.
Each vendor was also given the opportunity to present samples of the menu they intend to serve supporters for committee members and a cross-section of the general public to taste.
During the vetting the committee used the following criteria to reach its decision on each vendor and also to guide the committee in its effort to shortlist to three (3) companies:
• Experience (including international exposure)
• Ability to pre-finance
• Company Work force
• Tax Clearance
• Employee Health Clearance Certificates
• Personal profile of company CEO
After lengthy deliberations the committee short-listed the following 3 companies.
Ambar Quality Foods Limited
Mrs Gertrude Quashigah, Founder and CEO of Ambar Quality Foods Limited, represented the company at all stages of vetting. She is:
Patron: Ghana Chefs Association
Patron: South Africa Chefs Association
Founder: Healthy Living Foundation
Member: Ghana Chamber of Commerce and an award winner.
She is a holder of Foods and Drugs Board certificate.
She took the committee through some of her experiences of catering for large numbers and particularly cited 2010 world cup in South Africa as an example of her international exposures. She explained how her company could pre-finance through Eco Bank.
Ambar Quality Foods Limited presented their proposed canteen menu and price list to the committee. They will provide:
Breakfast @ $18.00 per head
Lunch & Supper @ $25.00 each per head
When queried, Mrs Quashigah explained that her company will be procuring from the Brazilian market and her research has revealed that prices in Brazil have gone up 3 fold.
Attached to this report are:
• Full proposal from Ambar Quality Foods Limited
• A profile of the CEO, Mrs Gertrude Quashigah
Monica Yawa Ntumy, Founder and CEO of Monees Foods, represented the company at all stages of vetting. She has:
Cooked and supplied meal for about 4000 individuals at a Congress.
Cooked and supplied meal for both Ghanaian and Korean crew for four years.
Operating a mobile kitchen in the past 4 years.
She took the committee through the structure of her company and how they could pre-finance the project if the need arises.
Monees Foods presented their proposed canteen menu and price list to the committee. They will provide:
Breakfast @ $18.00 per head.
Lunch & Supper are @ $22.05 each per head.
When queried Mrs Ntumy claimed her prices were competitive.
Attached to this report are:
• Full proposal from Monees Foods Limited.
• Profile of the CEO, Monica Yawa Ntumy
Kenkey Boutique Enterprise
Mercy Amina Sackey, Founder and CEO of Mercy Kenkey Boutique, appeared before the committee.
Kenkey Boutique has the experience of catering for about 700 people daily.
Ms Sackey presented the proposed canteen menu and price list for the committee to consider.
Breakfast @ GHC 9.00 per head.
Lunch & Supper are @ GHC 11.00 each per head.
The same document that had the quotation of GHC34 also has the quotation of the other caterers in dollars.
So if we have the following analysis:
Ambar Foods $68($18+$25+$25)
Monees Foods $62($18+$22+$22)
Kenkey Boutique $10(GHC34)
In the example of Kenkey Boutique that was chosen, clearly it would have been impossible to feed our supporters on $10 a day.
Even if you strike an average of the total charges of the caterers, we have $68+$62+$10/3=$46.666
The $35/supporter/day we negotiated, agreed and paid the Caterers is significantly less than this figure.
These meals were chosen from the list below each meal time each day:
Rice and stew / beef or chicken
Rice and egg and cabbage stew
Waakye with beef and gari
Spaghetti with beef sauce
Fried rice with chicken
Spanish rice with chicken
Gari fotoh with stew/ beef or fish
Okra stew with Eba
Groundnut soup with rice balls
Chicken curry with rice
Kenkey with fish/chicken and shito/ gravy
Jollof with chicken/ beef
Potato with beef/ chicken sauce
Banku and Okra stew
Fried Plantain and Beans
The Commission wanted to know how it happened that Kenkey Boutique who quoted a total amount of GHC31 ended up receiving US$35, as settled on by the committee.
Mr. Horace Ankrah tried unsuccessfully to explain to the Commission that other caterers quoted in dollars, and after extensive analysis and deliberations with the caterers, and subsequent discussions by the Operational Team, we finally arrived at $35 per head per day.
For the record, after a recce to Brazil, the Committee found out the following facts:
• That the Brazilian authorities would not allow food/ingredients to be brought into Brazil.
• That the cost of food/feeding in Brazil was quite high and would potentially be higher prior to the commencement of the World Cup.
After deliberations with the shortlisted Caterers and with the benefits of information about cost of living in Brazil coupled with confirmation of the number of probable people to be fed at the Supporters Camp, the Operational Team in conjunction with the Caterers, after considering menu options for 3 meals per supporter/per day at $50 and $45, finally settled on $35 per supporter per day for 2 “full meals” (Brunch and Dinner).
It was our hope that the Commission would hear all the processes and discussions that went on until the said amount was agreed before concluding that somebody “had decided to change the “GH¢34 to $35”
The effect of the Commission’s conclusions and comments, led to the impression that has been carried extensively across the media that, the Committee changed the caterers charges from “GHC34 to US$35”.
All subsequent discussions by the media unfortunately followed this erroneous trend.
In all fairness, based on the analysis of the documents WE HAVE ALREADY PRESENTED TO THE COMMISSION, AND FROM WHICH THE GHC34 WAS QUOTED, (all these facts are available) it is unfair, inaccurate, and inappropriate to draw a conclusion or even suggest that our committee was corrupt (as has been the conclusion from the reportage) and in appropriately transformed “GHC34 into $35”
Finally, we the committee members wish to remind all and sundry that, the fundamental law of this land, which is the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, Article 19, 2(c) states that, all persons are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction.
In this particular case, we have not been charged with any criminal offence, rather, we are supposed to assist the Commission to arrive at facts to enable it make appropriate recommendations to the authorities bearing in mind that the Commission does have the powers of a High Court.
We wish to draw the attention of all Ghanaians that, we are committed to unraveling the truth, and nothing but the truth at this Commission.
At the end of the day, the conclusions and outcome of this exercise must reflect nothing but the truth.
GOD HELP US ALL
World Cup Committee