Member of Parliament for South Dayi, Rockson Etse Dafeamekpor, has lamented the alarming rate of corruption in the government institutions, ministries and agencies, saying nipping it in the bud could save Ghanaians from paying extra taxes.
His concerns come after a shocking revelation in the Auditor-General’s Report revealed that a whopping GHS 20 billion has been stolen or misappropriated by various Ministries, Departments and Agencies between 2017 and 2019.
The report, which covers the first three years of the Akufo-Addo’s first term, establishes that there were cash irregularities in the Information, Education, Roads and Highways, Employment and Labour Relations, and Health Ministries as well as other government agencies.
For instance, the Ministry of Education’s cash irregularities amounted to GHS 40 million whilst Procurement irregularities were about GHS 10 million. In the same report, contract irregularities were captured as GHS 86 milion.
At the Ministry of Youth and Sports, there were cash irregularities of GHS 3.8 million and payroll iregularities summed up to about GHS 20 million.
Within the same period cash irregularities at the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations 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 in the country.
Speaking to TV XYZ News, the South Dayi MP, who is also a member of the Public Accounts Committee, condemned the government for its reluctance to pursue persons indicted in the report.
“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,” the MP told Eric Ahianyo.
Parliaments Public Accounts Committee is yet to scrutinize the details but Mr Dafeamekpor says when the committee begins sittings, those fingered in the report will not be left 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.