The Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee in Parliament, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, has called on the president to act swiftly to deal with heads of public boards, corporations and statutory institutions that could not account for Ghc 2.1 billion cedis between 2010 and 2011.
He says the presidency and the various ministry under which such institutions were fingered in the report for misappropriation of funds and misconduct must act on the report to recover the monies.
“PAC’s powers are limited because we have… a leader who appoints, dismisses and supervise the activities of such institutions who must deal with these issues” Agyeman-Manu stated.
Kweku Agyeman-Manu who doubles as MP for Dormaa Central was speaking Monday on Adom FM’s flagship programme “Burning Issues” hosted by Afia Pokua.
According to the 2010 and 2011 Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) report on the Auditor-General on Public Accounts of Ghana, a total of GHȻ2.1 billion was misappropriated and misapplied by these institutions within the two-year period.
Some of the offenders were the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), National Petroleum Authority (NPA) and the Ghana Trade Fair Company (GTFC).
COCOBOD was accused of not paying dividends since the 2003/2004 financial year and that in 2010 alone it made a profit of GHȻ158.6 million; but the response of officials of the board was that it (COCOBOD) had been using the money to construct ‘cocoa roads’ in the country.
Also an amount of GHȻ17.8 million was said to have been loaned by COCOBOD to the Cocoa Marketing Company in 2010, but there were no documents to prove that.
SSNIT was also accused of using public funds to make bad investments which did not yield any profits.
According to the report, SSNIT kept investing in Bessblock Limited, an estate developer, which was continuously making losses.
The report also noted that the SSNIT Guest House in Accra had been making losses since 2002 while the Trust Hospital also made losses in 2006 and 2007.
The Ghana Trade Fair Company was said to have bloated the cost of repairs and maintenance by almost three times the original figures.
The maintenance cost of GTFC in 2009 was Ȼ124,724 but that increased to Ȼ308,535 in 2010.
The PAC Chair, Kweku Agyeman-Manu says monies unaccounted for in the report is heart breaking because such monies could have built houses for people whose structures are being demolished by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and the needy to reduce Ghana’s housing deficit.
He noted that the committee’s responsibility is to bring the report and make a recommendation but the rest is on the government to make sure the proper thing is done.