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28 June 2016

Atta Akyea wants ‘fishy’ GYEEDA payment investigated

Samuel Atta Akyea, Vice Chairman, Public Accounts CommitteeThe Deputy Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament is questioning a priority payment to companies under the defunct Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial development Agency.

Atta Akyea suspects something fishy must have gone on for which reason 199 million cedis will be paid to the “blessed” five service providers under GYEEDA.

He was reacting to a 2012 Auditor General’s report which revealed that the payments were made without supporting documents.

GYEEDA has been popular for the wrong reasons following an investigative report by Joy News’ Manasseh Azure Awuni which revealed widespread corruption and misappropriation of funds for a program that was to provide jobs for the youth.

Two public officials are standing trial for their roles in the misappropriation but it appears the state is not yet done with payments to companies under the defunct agency.

Deputy Minister of Finance Ato Forson justified the payment of 199 million cedis when he appeared before the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament, Monday.

He explained the state may well be held for penal payment or judgment debts if it failed to pay the monies to the five companies.

But speaking to Joy News’ Evans Mensah, the Deputy Chair of the PAC, Atta Akyea said the deputy Minister’s explanations were “watery and unconvincing.”

He wondered how the ministry found supporting document to make payments to the five companies when the Auditor General did not find any.

In any case, he argued, there are dozens of contractors owed several millions of cedis by the state who have not been paid and who are demanding payment but the ministry never found it prudent to pay.

He found it rather surprising that the Ministry, will give priority to companies under the GYEEDA scheme to make payments to them.

“There must be special reasons for the expedited payment to the blessed GYEEDA companies,” he said.

He said the whole GYEEDA payment must be reopened because it is an “embarrassment to the ministry” and the they have a duty to clear their names.

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