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Agenda 111: Minority Takes On Finance Ministry

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Agenda 111: Minority Takes On Finance Ministry

Minority in Parliament has described as bizarre, government’s explanation on how GH¢600 million was set aside for Agenda 111.

This comes after the Ministry of Finance denied claims by the Minority in Parliament that the government had already spent GH¢636 million on Agenda 111 even before it was launched on Tuesday, August 17, 2021.

In a press release issued by the Public Relations Unit, the Ministry admitted that in 2020, an amount of GH¢600 million was released into the Health Infrastructure Account at Bank of Ghana (BoG) to support the implementation of the District and Regional Hospitals Projects.

The Finance Ministry said contrary to the claims “the said amount had been released into the project account at the BOG but not utilised yet. Project commencement has just begun. So far, only GH¢36million has been released as part of pre-construction mobilisation,” the statement, dated August, 19, explained.

However, the Parliamentarians of the NDC, led by Ranking Member on Parliament’s Health Committee, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, said the explanations on the whereabouts of the money lead to a conclusion that the government is hiding the truth about the GH₵600 million expenditure.

“We find the explanations on the GH₵600million expenditure rather bizarre, to say the least. The statement is alarming in that, it raises even more concerns about the chain of custody of the GH₵600 million allocated for AGENDA 111 projects. From all the contradictions, it may be that the GH₵600 million is missing,” part of the statement read.

Mr Akandoh raised five questions about the expenditure including when the GHC600 million was allocated to Agenda 111, which agency of government is implementing Agenda 111? And what has been the chain of custody of the funds since they left the Consolidated Accounts at the BoG?

To ascertain the accuracy of the Finance Ministry’s statement, he called on the Auditor General to constitute an audit team, involving the services of a reputable international Audit Firm, to audit the processes leading to the supposed transfer and the expenditure of the GH₵600 million.

“We also wish to serve notice that, if the Auditor General fails to Act within two weeks, we will have no option than to start the processes of collecting enough signatures from Members of Parliament to trigger a recall of Parliament so that a committee of Parliament can investigate the Missing GH₵600 million from the consolidated fund.”

Below is the full statement:

20/08/2021

For Immediate Release:
MINORITY STATEMENT ON THE MISSING GH₵600 MILLION FROM THE CONSOLIDATED FUND SINCE
2020.
The Minority in Parliament has read with utmost shock and alarm a press statement issued by the
Ministry of Finance in response to its recent call for accountability for an amount of GH₵600million
released or utilized in 2020 for the management of AGENDA 111 projects.
Although the statement in itself did not address the entirety of concerns raised in our press statement
regarding the sufficiency of allocations, the appropriacy of the implementing agency (Office of the
President) and the propriety of procurement methods leading to the award of contracts; we find the
explanations on the GH₵600million expenditure rather bizarre to say the least.
The statement is alarming in that it raises even more concerns about the chain of custody of the GH₵600
million allocated for AGENDA 111 projects. We therefore put forward a few questions:
1. Did government release GH₵600 million for the Agenda 111 in 2020 as per the Ministry of
Finance’s statement and when did this happen? Why was this not captured in the 2021 Budget?
2. Which agency of government is implementing Agenda 111 and is that agency different from the
agency holding custody of funds for the same project? Why?
3. Are funds purported to be lodged at the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund meant for
investment management or they are lodged there to be made available to the implementing agency on
demand?
4. Assuming that funds have been released for Agenda 111 projects, what has been the chain of
custody of the funds since they left the Consolidated Accounts at the BoG?
5. Can government, without releasing funds from the Bank of Ghana to the implementing agency
admit to having released same and present same to parliament and the people of Ghana?
Government’s communication and explanations leads to a rather unfortunate conclusion that
government is hiding the truth about the GH₵600 million expenditure and from all the contradictions, it
may be that the GH₵600 million is Missing.
In view of the above, we call on the Auditor General to immediately constitute an Audit team involving
the services of a reputable international Audit Firm such as Price Waterhouse coopers (PWC), to
immediately Audit the processes leading to the supposed transfer and the expenditure of the 600
million between the Ministry of finance, the Controller and Accountant General’s Department, the Bank
of Ghana, the Ministry of Health and the Office of the Chief of Staff to ascertain the veracity of the
claims of the Ministry of Finance.
We also wish to serve notice that, if the Auditor General fails to Act within 2 weeks, we will have no
option than to start the processes of collecting enough signatures from Members of Parliament to

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trigger a recall of Parliament so that a committee of Parliament can investigate the Missing GH₵ 600
million from the consolidated fund.
Kwabena Mintah Akandoh (MP)
MP for Juaboso & Ranking Member on the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health

Source: Gharticles.com/Adomonline.com

Ghana Politics

Nana Addo Bans Ministers From Traveling Abroad

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Nana Addo Bans Ministers From Traveling Abroad

President Nana Akufo-Addo has placed a one-month international travel ban on his ministers and deputy ministers.⁠

According to a new report by AsaaseNews, travelling is only allowed for medical emergencies. The directive by the President will be the second of its kind since he assumed office as President of the Republic in January 2017.⁠

On 21 June 2018, the president, in a letter signed by his Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei Opare, directed that all foreign travel by ministers, deputy ministers, metropolitan/municipal/district chief executives and heads of government agencies be suspended temporarily with immediate effect.⁠

“Guidelines in respect of future foreign travels aimed at minimising disruption to the government’s domestic work will be communicated to you shortly,” the 2018 directive said.⁠

The reason for this latest travel ban is not readily known.

READ ALSO:   'I Was Happy When She Passed' - Okyeame Kwame On His Grandmother's Passing

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Source: GhArticles.com

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Ghana Politics

E-levy Proceeds Will Create Jobs For Over 11 Million People – Ofori-Atta

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E-levy Proceeds Will Create Jobs For Over 11 Million People - Ofori-Atta

The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has said proceeds from the 1.75% E-Levy, proposed in the 2022 budget, would ensure that over 11 million people are employed.

He noted that 58 percent of the country’s population are between 15 and 59 years, which is about 18million people.

“Of this number, 2.4million are in formal employment whilst the remaining 15 million are split between informal and underemployment”, stressing that 11 million people are with no clear path when it comes to employment opportunities.

It was held on the theme: “Building a Sustainable Entrepreneurial Nation; Opportunities for Ghana’s Youth”.

Ken Ofori-Atta contended that “for us as a government, our task is to ensure we extend opportunities to the youth. The consequences of having eleven million people with no clear path, undoubtedly, our recovery efforts hinges on tailored support to provide skills and funding to our young people to pursue their ambition to free them”, indicating that nothing is impossible.

“How do we as a nation move into an entrepreneurial stage to have an opportunity to contribute to national development? How do we reduce our debt and create employment?

How do we take care of our infrastructure and roads so that we open up the country and build good Internet systems to create opportunities for all? Why are we being resistant to the future? We have nothing to fear. Have we as a nation understood the times that we are in and are we ready to sacrifice to move to a whole different level”?

Ken Ofori-Atta emphasized that “When somebody tells you we shouldn’t go there, tell them, give me an alternative for this 11 million people who are at home and not working”.

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Ghana Politics

I Fear For My Life When I Sit In Chamber Sometimes – Afenyo-Markin

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I Fear For My Life When I Sit In Chamber Sometimes - Afenyo-Markin

Deputy Majority Leader in Parliament, Alexander Kwamina Afenyo-Markin has admitted to living in fear of his life during and after some proceedings in the House.

According to him, some sessions which involve heated debate has sometimes culminated in threats of physical harm and abuse.

Speaking on the News File segment on Joy News, Afenyo-Markin alleged that the recent impasse over the 2022 budget statement has revealed a plot by the minority to physically abuse, Joseph Osei-Owusu who presided over a ruling as the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament.

“Sometimes I sit in the chamber and I fear for my own life. I fear for my life because one moment we are debating then you threaten someone that I will beat you.

You should call them out. Sam George is apologizing on behalf of the minority and majority, we don’t need you to apologise for us. With all due respect, apologize for your caucus. NPP has been gentle,” he said.

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