A Deputy Information Minister, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has hit back at assertions that his posture and mannerisms seem to portray him as championing the cause of African Automobile Limited (AAL), the company that is demanding US$1.5billion from government for importing some cross-country Galloper vehicles into the country on behalf of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) in 2001.

Debunking claims that he has taken over the role of Attorney for AAL, the deputy minister said instead of the NPP bowing down their heads in shame for engaging in ?petty and nasty politics?, they are rather branding others ?enemies of the state?.

?How can you call me the PRO of AAL when I am the person saying that you could have avoided this judgment debt?? he quizzed.

He was reacting to accusations by the NPP that instead of him finding out concrete facts to defend the government, it appears he has been contracted to act as counsel for the AAL.

The Deputy Information Minister told the media nearly two weeks ago that the recklessness of the NPP administration led to the accumulation of a $17 million cost on the 86 Gallopers imported by AAL ballooning to $1.5 billion, as is being demanded by the company.

However fresh information made available by a former Local Government Minister in the erstwhile Rawlings NDC regime, Prof Kwamena Ahwoi, under whose watch the deal for the controversial cross country Galloper vehicles was signed, suggests government owed less than originally put out by government.

Professor Ahwoi, in a statement on the matter issued last Wednesday, said the government owed the equivalent of half a million dollars and not 17 million dollars as was claimed by the Deputy Information Minister.

Mr. Ablakwa has conceded he got his figures wrong and that the total contract sum, quoted by Professor Kwamena Ahwoi should be accepted in good faith.

But he insists the NPPs vindictiveness and recklessness led to the current situation government finds itself in.

Speaking to Asempa FM, Okudzeto Ablakwa thanked God that he was not part of an administration whose sole purpose after assuming the reins of power was to destroy private companies through ?wickedness, recklessness and evil intentions?.

According to him, when the NPP was in power, the party never conducted itself in any way to show they had the interest of the nation at heart.

He accused the NPP of deliberately going after the AAL because they claimed the company?s country director he was strutting around ?as somebody who was untouchable? and thus they (NPP) ?wanted to show him where power lies?. He further slam the opposition party for turning around to accuse the NDC government of paying judgement debts which they claimed were unjustified after their (NPP?s) actions had led to the rise in cost in the first place.

?I am happy that I serve under President Mills who has proven to be a different kind of leader. No company has collapsed under his watch ever since he assumed power. He has rather promoted those companies?take at look at a company like ZoomLion and Rlg, he has ensured that they are on their feet and doing well. Look at a mindset where you have a former chief of staff saying that an MD of a company thinks that he is untouchable which eventually leads to the current situation we are facing,? Ablakwa said.



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