1. The Board and Management of Strategic Security Systems International Limited (formerly known informally as ‘3SIL’) has taken note of certain publications in sections of the media, notably the Herald newspaper and on its online platform (theheraldghana.com) alleging certain malfeasances against our company, which we deem worthy of adequate response.
2. The report, first published on 22nd November, 2023, alleges in substance a number of false narratives against our company, for which we are obligated to respond in order to set the records straight as it relates to public discussions.
3. In the first place, the publication makes reference to a so-called upheaval by the workers of COCOBOD over its Management’s consideration to award a contract for the supply of solar torch lights to our company. It is worthy to note that the publication neither makes any reference to actual sources from COCOBOD nor does it name any staff or member of the Board or Management of COCOBOD that has openly expressed opposition to
any of its Management’s considerations. All that the story does is to jumble up a cacophony of fictionalized narratives by nameless and faceless persons mixed with heated adjectives, just to excite public sentiments against our company.
4. We wish to place on record that this so-called ‘upheaval’ at COCOBOD is false and fabricated. COCOBOD is an entity of State and speaks through its Management or Board. To date, no member of COCOBOD’s Management or its Board or even any named member of its staff has openly voiced any opposition to any issue at all before COCOBOD as it relates to our company. Our company, over the years, has maintained a working relationship with COCOBOD and will in the future continue to maintain good working relationships with all our customers and work partners.
5. The publication also makes certain representations that we somehow ’employ every tactic in the books to have our way’ with COCOBOD. It is difficult to fathom the exact breadth of the expression used in the publication yet it i
s clear that the publishers of the story seek to insinuate accusations of unpleasant business practices against our company in the mind of the ordinary reader of the story. Such an accusation could not be further from the truth.
6. Strategic Security Systems is a law-abiding company and like all other companies seeks to offer its services to any customer on the market. The company follows all laid-down procurement laws and practices in obtaining contracts from Government. Over the years, the company has participated in several public sector Tenders, and in that respect, won a few and lost many of these Tenders. As an example, Tenders that have been awarded to our company includes the referenced solar street lights contract that our company is currently executing for COCOBOD after several years of delay and a lawsuit that was eventually settled in Court and entered as Judgment in our favour. As a matter of record, our company was awarded that contract after the initial awardee of the open competitive Tender p
rocess failed to execute the contract, leaving COCOBOD with no other option than to award it to our company, which came second in the scoring for that particular open Tender. It is therefore a flight of fancy for any journalist or hidden faces behind these false publications to insinuate that we were employing certain tactics to win contracts.
7. With respect to the solar street lights contract, COCOBOD itself has acknowledged its role in the delay of the execution of the contract and on 13th April, 2018, is on record as having apologized to our company for that mishap and others, after its former Management failed to clear for several years the items imported for installation and racked up huge costs on demurrage at the ports. Our lawsuit to compel COCOBOD to abide by the terms of that contract is what occasioned the current Management to seek out a settlement of the lawsuit which has eventually led to the ongoing execution of the contract for which our company is on schedule to deliver.
8. With respect to
the solar torch light contract referenced in the publication, any worthy journalist would find from the available records at the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) that our company was awarded a similar contract in the past based on pure merit, our company’s exclusive access to certain specifications required, and the urgency of the supply. Our execution of that previous contract met with the praise and satisfaction of not just COCOBOD but more importantly, the farmers, for whom COCOBOD exists to serve. For the uninitiated mind, mostly sitting in Accra and other urban areas enjoying the luxury of electric power supply, it is easy to assume that the name of the product (‘solar torch light’) is akin to an ordinary torch light with a panel. The publication by the Herald newspaper intentionally omitted to state the particular high-end specifications and attributes of this specialized product, when the facts are that this is a specialized item that gives the farmers in the rural communities, most of whom are not c
onnected to the national electricity grid, high visibility and functionality at night time. The multipurpose use of this specialized product provides the farmers with several benefits that transform their lives and that of their families at night time including assisting their wards to study at night, enabling them to charge their mobile devices and even allowing them to attend nature’s call at any hour after sunset without risking death from encounters with wild creatures such as poisonous snakes and scorpions.
9. COCOBOD itself is aware of the benefits to the ordinary farmer of these items and given its popularity in the past, and the demand by the farmers for the supply of more of these products to them, COCOBOD in its wisdom has sought to meet them at the point of their needs, as it should do. The general public would recall that on 10th May, 2019, the members of the Ghana Cocoa, Coffee and Sheanut Farmers Association met the President at the Jubilee House and made a specific request to the President for
these very solar lighting equipment, to which the President instructed the CEO of COCOBOD and the Minister of Agriculture to ensure that they assisted the farmers with their request. This information is already in the public domain and easily verifiable. Any running publication therefore that COCOBOD’s Management or Board is against the supply of this product is fiction.
10. Further, the allegations contained in the publications as to the cost price of the items are completely false and the available records at the PPA which approved the procurement of that contract would have debunked that assertion if the Herald newspaper and other media outlets that republished these false stories had bothered to undertake their duties well and professionally.
11. The attempts by the Herald newspaper and its associates to rope our company into murky politics by its assertions that our company has dealings with the two leading political parties in Ghana is also misplaced and misconceived, and is a mischief that we would e
ntreat the general public to disregard. There is no doubt that since the coming into force of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana and indeed since the establishment of our company, there have been only two political parties that have obtained the mandate of the people of Ghana to govern the country. Indeed, as a company, COCOBOD is one of many customers that we have and we have executed contracts for and on behalf of many other companies or agencies, both in the public and private sectors. We deem it as a mark of our unique professionalism, competence and expertise in the various fields in which we run our businesses that we have been successful and thrived in these fields no matter the political party in power.
12. These successes have not happened by accident or by dealings with political parties as falsely alleged by the publications, but have been attained by hard work, innovation, competitiveness and tenacity of purpose, which are values that have underpinned the administration and growth of
our company and its affiliates. We take every pride in these strides. Indeed, just as we have made achievements, so have we suffered setbacks in the course of our business life. There have been occasions where we have won Tenders that were subsequently taken from us for no justifiable reasons, other occasions where we have been awarded contracts for which we were subsequently forced to share those contracts with other companies by Government agencies, other occasions when we have completely executed contracts and were either never paid or were paid so late that all profits were swallowed by bank charges and interests leading to financial losses for our business, and even on other occasions where we have spent significant sums to participate in Government Tenders for which a winner has never been announced. If the allegations in the media were therefore worthy of any truth, our so-called dealings with the leading political parties ought to have completely insulated or protected our company and its affiliates f
rom the occurrence of these massive financial setbacks. That has simply not been the case. The substance contained in the publications by the Herald newspaper and other outlets are therefore false and should be disregarded by the general public.
13. By this Press Release, we wish to entreat all journalists to raise and maintain the high standards expected of them by the general public, as the fourth estate of the realm. We further wish to entreat all political actors, activists and other commentators to appraise themselves of facts before commenting on any illadvised and non-researched rumours parading as news stories in sections of the media, to avoid embarrassment to themselves and potential voter disgruntlements against them.
14. As a company, we jealously guard our reputation and business orientations, and in the future we shall not hesitate to seek legal redress against any outlet that publishes false, misleading and defamatory stories about our company or any of our affiliates.
15. We hope and trust
that this Press Release would set the records straight concerning the aforementioned publications and provide the much-needed circumspection in discussions concerning the matters aforementioned.
Source: Ghana News Agency