Some relief items National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) were auctioned off from warehouses contributing to the “unusual” GHC40 million debt it was left by its previous administration.
NADMO buys almost everything it uses for relief efforts and these purchases are normally proactive, in anticipation of disasters.
But the Deputy Director of NADMO, Abu Ramadan noted on Eyewitness News that, “before we came in, the majority of the items, 85 to 90 percent of the items, were gone.”
“Most of our regional stores were empty. Some records of some regional stores, for instance in the Brong Ahafo Region and I think the Northern region, showed that some items were even auctioned.”
It is for this reason that NADMO has begun a forensic audit of the staff and will soon move onto the financials and how the relief items stock had been managed.
Mr. Ramadan even noted that the organisation’s responsiveness was even compromised by the state of affairs.
“A lot of things went on in the past and it NADMO was run as if it was somebody’s private property or private business. It wasn’t run properly as a proper state institution where you will come and meet records.”
“Even in two of our main warehouses, we didn’t come to meet much. We met a little, but not too much to be able to absorb the pressure should there have been a national disaster. What we had in stock would not have been enough to withstand.”
Unusual debt stock
Mr. Ramadan also shed some more light on NADMO’s debt stock “which was incurred over the last 14 months, which is unusual of NADMO’s records.” According to him, payment to suppliers came within, at most, six months.
“Maximum, after six months, you should be paid, at worst. We do 90-day credits and it should be a maximum of six months [within which suppliers are paid]. But this time around, its been 14 months of debt still sitting on our books. He revealed that this debt had accumulated over the years, particular “in 2016, an election year, where most of it was accumulated.”
“Initially it was some GHc 34 million. Later on, we found some extra GHC2 million debt somewhere and it has been piling up since,” Mr. Ramadan added.
Things are however improving at NADMO as it consolidates its figures and government has made some efforts and “release a little to be paid to cushion our suppliers a little bit and we are hoping that within the coming days or weeks, they will finish paying all the debt,” the Deputy-Director said.