Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament, charged with the responsibility of looking into the accounts of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) and other Public institutions in the country came out with shocking revelations at its last week sitting to look into the accounts of some of these institutions.
Chaired by the Member of Parliament for Ketu North and Deputy Minority Leader, James Klutse Avedzi, the committee had to come out with stringent measures and decisions to make it stamp out its authority to the doubting Thomases in the country.
Among them was the arrest of two officers from the Akontombra District Assembly in the Western North Region and a warning to most of the members who appeared before the committee in its two-week sitting.
Ghosts Owe Assembly
When the District Chief Executive (DCE) Isaac Odum, and his team from the Asikuma/Odoben/Brakwa District in the Central Region appeared before the committee it was revealed that most of debtors to the Assembly by way of loans were dead (Ghosts).
What is more, the surviving debtors were so venerable that it was very difficult for the Assembly to recover those debts. Subsequently, Hon. Odum pleaded with the committee to assist the Assembly to have those debts written off as bad debt.
According to him, the amount involved was GH¢27,000 and with most of the debtors having passed on to glory, the remaining comprising women are not just too poor, but also very venerable to repay this amount. When the Chairman, Hon. Avedzi asked him (DCE) if these debtors could not be traced for the retrieval of the debts, his answer was an emphatic “NO!”. The Chairman subsequently noted it (debt) for a possible write-off as bad debt.
According to Hon. Odum, the total amount advanced to these debtors, comprising groups and individuals amounted to GH¢45,000 and it was given them through the defunct Akim Metro Finance Company, which was among the 192 distressed and defunct banks in the country last year.
As a result, the Assembly came in as a third party. Nevertheless, it was in touch with officials from the defunct bank over the issue. The plain truth was that the outstanding amount of GH¢27,000 could not be retrieved, and that it was his plea that it be written off as bad debt.
Assembly Pacifies Gods to Open Market
At the same sitting of the Asikuma/Odoben/Brakwa District. It came to light that the Assembly had to incur an undisclosed amount to enable it have a small market cited at Breman Benin open for operation. This undisclosed amount bordered on rituals comprising the slaughtering of sheep, fowls, eggs and schnapps to ward off perceived evil spirits in the market before it could start to operate. This, he attributed to superstitions believes of the people which however had to be complied with since it was the general demand of the people. Also certain pastors had allegedly foreseen these evil spirits in the market, and as such, prayers had to be performed to ward off these spirits.
According to the DCE, after the performance of these rituals and prayers, the market, though small, is now in full operations, thereby helping in the generation of the Assembly’s Internally Generated Funds (IGF).
According to the DCE another market at Odoben, built during the PNDC era has been abandoned and apparently not in use by the community. He maintained that the market was sited about two (2) kilometers away from the town and therefore inconvenient for the use of the community.
He indicated that since the Assembly needed revenue from the market, it carried out additional cost of about GH¢38,000. However, there is no place for Lorry Park for the market. Also the people are demanding that the road leading to the market be paved and mawed as it is a clarid place, before the market could be used. All the same the Assembly is in contact with the community for the possible use of the market.
Source: S. O. Ankamah