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General News of Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Source: Graphic Online

Delay in releasing letter cost state Ghc530,628.44

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) yesterday told the Judgement Debt Commission that the delay in releasing an instruction letter to it by the Controller and Accountant General’s Department for the payment of a dollar equivalent of Ghc3,217,630 compensation resulted in exchange loss of Ghc530,628.44 to the state.

The Assistant Director at the banking department of the BoG, Mr. Leslie Akrong, said the letter dated January 8, 2009, instructing the Central Bank to release $2,640,000 to enable the Attorney General’s Department to settle compensation to the CarMichael family for the confiscation of the Aveyime Livestock Project, got to the BoG in April, 2009.

He said when the instruction letter got to the BoG in April, 2009, the cedi equivalent had shot up because of the exchange rate.

Therefore, Mr. Akrong said, the Central Bank initially transferred the Ghc3,217,630 on May 4, 2009 into the Ministry of Justice’s Account, and later released the difference of Ghc530,628.44 into the same account to make up for the difference.

Giving a breakdown of the $2,640,000 compensation, Mr. Akrong said per the letter from the Controller, $2.4 million was meant for the CarMichael family and $240,000 was to be paid to the solicitors of the family.

In his remarks, the Sole Commissioner, Mr. Justice Yaw Apau, said the delay in releasing the letter from the Controller and Accountant General’s Department to the BoG was an example of weak institutions in the country.

He said if the Controller had acted with dispatch in releasing the letter to the Central Bank, the state would have been spared the pain of releasing extra money to pay the compensation to the CarMichael family.

Justice Apau again blamed political influence as one of the causes of the problems facing institutions in the country.

The sole commissioner said the situation where politicians could just put a stop to everything that they did not like was not good for the development of the country.

“If our institutions are working without interference, things will move on well,” he said.

Mr. Akrong also answered questions relating to the payment of Ghc780,089 as land compensation to unidentified persons at Adaklu and Abutia.

He said the instruction letter from the Controller asked the BoG to transfer the amount into the government non-road arrears account for the payment of land compensation.

Mr. Akrong told the commission that he did not know the identities of the beneficiaries of the compensation.

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