The National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) has been dragged to court by its suppliers for its inability to settle GHC40.1 million owned them for goods delivered to the organisation in 2014.
The acting National Coordinator of NADMO, Brigadier General Francis Vib-Sanziri, told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament at its sitting yesterday that some of the suppliers had taken NADMO to court to retrieve their monies for the supply of relief items, which included roofing sheets, mattresses, blankets, rice and cooking oil, in 2014.
He said the suppliers harassed him and his officials daily, and indicated that the situation affected the smooth operations of NADMO.
He was responding to a question by the Chairman of the PAC, Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, as to whether NADMO was indebted to suppliers.
Brig. Gen. Vib-Sanziri was at the PAC together with his lieutenants and a Deputy Minister of the Interior, Mr James Agalga, to answer questions related to queries raised in the 2011, 2012 and 2013 Auditor General’s reports in respect of activities of NADMO.
NADMO is the state institution responsible for the prevention, mitigation and management of disaster situations across the country.
Reasons for indebtedness
Brig. Gen. Vib-Sanziri said the total indebtedness of NADMO to its suppliers for 2014 and 2015 was more than GHC80 million.
He said when NADMO submitted its indebtedness to the Ministry of Finance for payment, the ministry released GHC43 million to NADMO with a specific instruction for the money to be used to settle only the 2015 indebtedness.
Brig. Gen. Vib-Sanziri said the ministry focused on the 2015 debt, because it had to do with the expenses related to the June 3 flood and fire disaster, which claimed the lives of more than 100 people at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra.
“We presented a total indebtedness to the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Finance but when the money was released, it was specifically for the June 3 supplies. So there was no option for NADMO,” he said.
He said the suppliers did not understand why all the 2015 debts were paid while the 2014 debts were still outstanding.
As a result, Brig. Gen. Vib-Sanziri said, the suppliers “chase us every day”, adding that he received a court summons from one of the suppliers last Tuesday.
The acting National Coordinator of NADMO said some of the suppliers had withdrawn their services to NADMO and disclosed that currently there were only a few suppliers who would be willing to offer supplies during emergencies.
He said NADMO had a few suppliers, and was responding to disaster situations as and when they occurred.
The 2011, 2012 and 2013 Auditor General’s reports established infractions on the part of NADMO. They included payment of monies that could not be accounted for, payment of salaries to retired and deceased staff, expenditure without supporting receipts, and failure to make payment vouchers available for auditing.
Responding, Brig. Gen. Vib-Sanziri said some of the money had been recovered from the retired staff and their families while steps were being take to retrieve the rest.
He said most of the listed accounting anomalies, including expenditure without supporting receipts, had been rectified.