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28 June 2016

Finance Ministry sinks ¢200m into GYEEDA payments

Mr Ato Forson

The Finance Ministry has justified a decision to pay almost 200 million cedis to service providers under the defunct Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial development Agency.

The Deputy Communications Minister Mr Ato Forson said the payment was to prevent a possible judgment debt against the state.

The audited accounts of the Youth and Sports ministry points to an over expenditure of almost 200 million as against an allocation of 20 million for 2012.

The over expenditure relates to projects undertaken

by some service providers under GYEEDA but the 2013 auditor general report says the payments were without supporting documents.

Responding to queries from the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament, the Deputy Finance minister, Ato Forson explained the ministry only acted on request by the Sport Ministry.

The National Youth Employment Agency programme exceeded their budget as against what was early on provided for the program.

“The reason was that within the period the Ministry of Finance noticed as part of the releases sent by the sector ministry, to the Ministry of Finance that the agency had awarded a number of contracts and a good number of them had been executed and they were asking the Ministry of Finance to make payment.

“At that point the Ministry of Finance looked at the implication as to failure to pay and what it will mean for the over all fiscal management. It was agreed that there are clauses in there that adds cost to the state like penal rate and the possibility of judgment debt issues and others,” he explained.

He said only two options were open to the Ministry, failure to pay or to wait till 2013 to make extra budget allocation for payment.

He stated however that the Ministry decided to reallocate funds for other ministries for the payments of those amounts.

Mr. Ato Forson also addressed plans by the ministry to ensure financial accountability for all payments.

The National Youth Employment program was deemed as a vehicle for corruption with illegal payment made to service providers.

Two public officials including the former National Coordinator Abuga Pele are standing trial for the various roles they played in was was said to be corrupt activities.

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