The latest Auditor Generals report shows a whopping GHS 20 billion cedis stolen or misappropriated by various Ministries, Departments and Agencies between 2017 and 2019.
The report that covers three years establishes that there were cash irregularities in Ministries such as Education, Roads and Highways, Employment and Labour Relations, Health and other government agencies.
For instance, at the Ministry of Education, cash irregularities amounted to GHS 40 million whilst Procurement irregularities was about GHS 10 million. Contract irregularities was captured as GHS 86 milion.
At the Ministry of Youth and Sports, cash irregularities was GHS 3.8 million and payroll iregularities was about GHS 20 million.
At the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations cash irregularities were found to be 89 million. The report stated that cash irregularities at the Trades and Industry Ministry was GHS 83 million.
This is compared to GHS 6.97 billion cedis allocated for all government flagship programmes captured in the 2021 budget.
On the list of Appendix 6 of the budget related to the flagship programmes, the highest allocation is to the free SHS programme, which is just GHS 1.97 billion followed by Roads Infrastructure of GHS 952.6 million, Special development Initiatives – which shall received about GHS 852 million and GHS 672 million for the Nation Builders Corps.
The report, which gives clear details about missing huge sums of cash, procurement infractions and deals and related dubious expenses comes in the wake of government’s rhetoric about conscious effort to fight corruption.
Reacting to the MP for North Dayi, Rockson Dafeamekpor, who spoke exclusively to the report described the revelation as alarming.
“The monies we speak of are equivalent to the entire COVID-19 expenditure…. If we had this money do you think we would have struggled to go to IMF, to go to World Bank or tax the people? No. These are monies that have fell through the cracks,” he told Eric Ahianyo.
Parliaments Public Accounts Committee is yet to scrutinize the details but Mr Dafeamekpor says the public need to appreciate the gravity of the thefts and join a crusade to go after those involved.
“It tells you that if we seal the loop holes in our public space, we’ll have sufficient monies to undertake other deveopment projects…. This is equivalent to 4 billion$,” Dafeamekpor added.
He has promised Ghanaians the committee will not let those fingered in the report off the hook, saying “its not going to be business as usual.”
“The committee will be looking at the fine details we will interogate all the figures. By way of caution, I’m saying every state agency, every public institution, every public officer that has been cited in this report, they should get themselves ready to cough the monies to be ready to refund or face the full rigours of the law,” he assured.