As pro-government media fall upon one another to propagandize a report by the Auditor General that accruals from the 10% salary deductions that President Mahama had made from his appointees were administered by the Chief of Staff, an insinuation that the money had been embezzled has been countered by facts.
Available evidence shows that the health infrastructure of the country has actually been nourished with 12 Community Health Improvement Services (CHPS) compounds that were built with the money so accrued.
From January 31, 2014, when an account was opened to receive the accruals, to December 2016, a total of Ghc2, 190,718 yielded from the deductions which had been sacrificed by appointees out of their own volition.
A total of Ghc2, 130,718.30 was disbursed to various contractors to be applied to the building of various CHPS compounds in various parts of the country.
Consequently, by the time the NDC was leaving office in January, this year, a total of five (5) CHPS Compounds had been fully constructed with the deductions. Beneficiary villages include Gympokrom and Kwame Prakrom in the Upper Denkyira East District.
Others are in the Ada East District in Greater Accra, Nkwanta Numbers 1 and 2 in the Western Region and Abontonso in the Afram Plains North District in the Eastern region.
Another set of five that had been almost completed are located at Faso Bator and Supon in the Afram Plains North District, as well as Dome, Gadokope and Samankwa in the Afram Plains South district.
Another is said to be nearing completion at Tetegu Old town in the Greater Accra Region, while yet another one was at foundation level as at the time the NDC was leaving office in January.
In the face of the fact, the claim that the money cannot be accounted for falls flat. The mix-up has also given indication that the Minister of health has not been on top of issues in his ministry.
The Auditor General, in his report on the Public Accounts of Ghana for the year ended December 2015, had noted that over GHc800,000 had accrued in 2014 from the 10% deductions but the report had failed to state the amount for 2015 and 2016.
Speaking before Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee on Wednesday, this week, the Deputy Controller and Accountant General, Kwasi Owusu, had said the money had been recalled by the then Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah.
“When the policy was initiated by the government, we were holding the money in trust. Subsequently, they decided that we should bring the money to them. So as and when we deduct from the pay roll, it goes directly to the owner of the money and that is why in 2015, we didn’t see anything at all because the money was not meant for government.”
Mr. Owusu had noted further that the action had been sanctioned by the Executive, which “wrote that we should release the money and we released the money accordingly… let’s say [the letter was] from the Chief of Staff.”
Though the Deputy CAG had not mentioned that the money had gone missing, media houses, especially those that are aligned to the ruling NPP, twisted and spun the issue, with one section insinuating that the money had been embezzled.
Another section of the pro-NPP media, which had not taken time to verify, also insinuated that the whole deduction scheme had been a propagandist lie that President Mahama and his appointees had told Ghanaians.
As it turns out, however, a little over Ghc2million that had accrued from the deductions had been put to the intended use of building CHPS compounds for villages in dire need of health posts.
Interestingly, some members of the governing party had screamed along the bandwagon of accusations, even though President Akufo-Addo and his government have not had the decency to replicate President Mahama’s sacrificial example.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/Stan Adotey