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General News of Thursday, 18 June 2009

Source: jfm

Ghana@50 report -Mpiani Milked Ghana

Former Chief of Staff Kojo Mpiani may have a lot of explaining to do if the recently released audited report of the Ghana at fifty secretariat accounts is anything to go by.

Auditor General Edward Dua Agyemang’s report on the Secretariat’s accounts from May 2006 to December 2008 has been submitted to Parliament and the details are not pretty.

The Secretariat, headed by Charles Wereko-Brobbey, was set up supervise programmes and activities towards the celebration of Ghana’s golden jubilee and the Africa Union conference held in 2007.

The main concern raised in the report is the total expenditure incurred GH¢71.70, which is almost twice the original allocated amount of GH¢31 million.

Also, out of the 25 much-talked-about jubilee toilets only one has been completed.

The report, signed by the Auditor General and forwarded to the Speaker Justice Joyce Bamford Addo said the National Planning Committee for the jubilee celebrations and AU conference exceeded the approved sum of GH¢29.31 million allocated to them by Parliament.

It also faults the committee for guaranteeing a loan of GH¢10 million contracted by a consortium of banks without the prior parliamentary approval.

The money according to the report, was to complete the construction and furnishing of 30 AU Village houses at La.

But it says the committee failed to abide by the terms of the contract resulting in incurring accrued interest of GH¢3.4 million.

The committee also entered into a bridge financing agreement with Prudential Bank to obtain 10 million Ghana cedis to supplement its cash flow.

However the Auditor General describes the action as illegal as it did not seek prior parliamentary approval.

The report further states that the Secretariat lent GH¢1.293 million to the Trade Fair Company to renovate its facilities.

That money has not been repaid. It would be recalled that in November 2006, the committee awarded contacts for the construction of 25 jubilee toilets with rest stops along the major highways at a cost of GH¢2.025 million.

According to the report, to date, only one has been completed. The projects have been abandoned at various completion stages by the contractors who were given GH¢664,203.80 as mobilization fee.

T-shirts, NBA caps calendars, flags, buntings, cups and school bags which were procured at a total cost of GH¢18.094 million.

Interestingly the report also faults Parliament for not exercising proper oversight responsibility in the entire matter.