Officials of the Ghana Railway Company Limited were on Tuesday, June 21 grilled by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament after the 2014 Auditor General’s Report revealed that the company’s GHS1.5 million could not be accounted for, reported Class 91.3 FM’s Ekow Annan.
According to the report, interventions and efforts put in place by the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) to retrieve the money have drawn blanks, further indicating that: “We [Auditor General’s office] recommend that management should pursue this case seriously.”
Ekow Annan further reported that the PAC members were unconvinced with the explanation given by the officials of the Ghana Railways. A development, which compelled the Deputy chair of the PAC, Samuel Atta Akyea to say: “I think we have EOCO appearing before us [PAC], and we will flag this and ask them to shed light on the matter, so, I will crave your indulgence to put this on hold and at the opportune time we will [revisit it].”
By this, the PAC is expected to summon officials of EOCO to explain their inability to retrieve the missing funds.
The acting Managing Director of the Ghana Railway Company Limited, John Essel in an exclusive interview with Ekow Annan after the hearing explained how the cashier embezzled the fund.
“The monies were syphoned from 2006 to 2008. In 2006, the company undertook retrenchment of some of the staff, so after the retrenchment exercise, the remaining workers felt that people have left, and so they are going to enjoy better conditions of service, which never was the case.
So, apathy set in, indiscipline became the order of the day and virtually at the same time, there were no investments in the sector.
The rail lines and assets were deteriorating at a very fast rate, so it became difficult that at this time this guy, on the blind side of everybody, managed to take that much money away, so it was later on that when the system was being brought to normalcy that this thing was discovered.”