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General News of Thursday, 10 August 2017


Mahama's ministers 10% pay cut funded 11 projects - Former staffer clarifies

Former Presidential Staffer is insisting that the 10 percent salary cut initiated by former President Mahama and his appointees were used for their intended purposes.

Emelia Arthur says eleven Service Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) were built with the proceeds.

She dismissed suggestions, some monies raised from deductions from salaries of ministers under the Mahama government is missing.

She said there is evidence that the monies collected were used to build Community Health Improvement Services (CHIPS) compounds.

The Auditor General, in his report on the Public Accounts of Ghana for the end of 2015 noted that over ¢800,000 was accrued in 2014 but the report failed to state the amount for 2015 and 2016.

When quizzed about this development at Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee Wednesday, the Deputy Controller and Accountant General, said the Chief of Staff recalled the money.

According to Kwasi Owusu, when the policy was implemented, his office was holding the money in trust until the Chief recalled it.

“After the directive, as an when we deduct the money, it goes to the owner and that is why in 2015 we did not see any money at all.

“That money was not meant for government, it was their money so that is why when they recalled it we gave it to them,” he told the Committee.

But Member of Parliament for Nhiyeaso who first raised the issue said due process was not followed in transferring the deductions to the Chief of Staff’s office. Kennedy Kankam Kwasi doubts whether the money was really used to build the CHPS compounds.

But in a sharp reaction former Presidential Staff Emelia Arthur explained on the Super Morning Show that the right processes were followed and the CHPS compounds were built.

"Mind you, it was our private monies," the former staffer said explaining the decision of the Chief of Staff to have the account moved from CAGD.

Emelia Arthur listed some 11 projects funded with GHC2.19m collected.

She revealed, six CHPS compounds were built in Eastern region, two each in the Greater Accra and Central regions and one in the Volta regional capital, Ho.

Mrs Arthur said the last project at Ho was left unfinished after the government lost the general elections in December.

"We were leaving office so there was no point it stopped at the foundation level"

According to her, ¢124,000 cedis was needed to fully complete the final project at Ho.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, James Avedzi Klutse, has blamed the media for misreporting on the issue.

According to him, the reports suggested that the previous government swindled the nation of that money.

Such misreporting he said is likely to tarnish the country’s images and he will ensure that the Health Ministry will clarify the issue when they appear before the Committee.