President Nana Akufo-Addo has said his government has an obligation to retrieve monies illegally acquired by officials indicted in the Auditor General’s report.
Delivering his second State of the Nation Address in Parliament on Thursday, the President also emphasized the need for government to “treat the Auditor General’s report seriously.”
His call comes on the back of revelations from a 2016 audit of the finances of the various ministries, department and agencies, which revealed that some state agencies engaged in unlawful monetary practices.
The Auditor General disclosed that, some GHc5.4 billion was wrongfully paid to contractors, and other service providers by officials at the various ministries between 2014-2017.
Commenting on revelations from the report, the President indicated that, the total amount of monies siphoned could have been used to undertake various developmental projects.
“Year in year out, the nation’s Auditor General produces a report on our public finances. It is often full of grand cases of corruption in our public service. The Auditor General’s report on MDA liabilities as at 31st December 2016 makes truly alarming reading.”
“Everyday, we hear reports on our radio and television of dilapidated classrooms and children who sit on floors. Just think of the difference the 5.4 billion cedis will make to the nation’s finances. That will certainly be enough to build and furnish hundreds of classrooms and construct the Eastern Corridor Roads. Every citizen is affected by acts of corruption,” said the President.
The Supreme Court in June 2017 ordered the Auditor General to, with immediate effect; begin surcharging persons found to have misappropriated monies belonging to the state.
The order was secured after a suit filed by pressure group, Occupy Ghana in June 2016.
62 firms surcharged by Auditor General to cough up nearly Ghc9m
The Auditor General subsequently in December 2017, announced that it has surcharged 62 organisations for receiving payments from the state without any documentation as proof.
The surcharge certificates totaling GHc8,886,791.9101742 according to the Auditor General, was for the period between December 31, 2013 and December 31, 2015.
The companies, mostly private organisations, also included some state institutions and staff of some government agencies.
In a release by the Auditor General’s office, it said that efforts to track down the listed companies had been fruitless forcing them to publish their names.
Give me powers to prosecute – Auditor-General
The Auditor General, Daniel Domelevo, has requested for more powers from the Attorney General to enable his outfit prosecute persons indicted in its annual report.
This call was supported by some persons, including a member of Pressure Group, Occupy Ghana, Ace Ankomah.
By: Marian Ansah/citifmonline.com/Ghana