Education Ministry Accused Of Misappropriating ¢85m

The Member of Parliament for Bosumtwe Simon Osei Mensah has launched a sunlight campaign against the Education Ministry accusing it of failing to account for an amount of GH¢85 CAL bank loan approved by Parliament for the construction of classroom blocks across the country.

According to the MP, the loan which was approved on March 17, 2011 clearly stated that the Ministry should build 161 six-unit-classroom blocks and 55 two-storey dormitory blocks.

The Ministry had four years within which to complete the projects but the MP insists very little is there to show for the loan approved, three years after the approval was given.

He had tabled a question on the floor of Parliament demanding answers and accountability from the ministry on how the money was expended.

The Deputy Minister Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa who appeared before the House gave answers to some projects executed with the GETFund and government of Ghana funds. He demanded for more time to give answers to the specific question of the 85 million CAL Bank loan and what was done with it.

He assured Parliament he would return with detailed and comprehensive information on the projects.

But even before the Deputy Minister returns, Simon Osei Mensah told Joy News’ Parliamentary correspondent Elton John Brobbey there is more than meets the eye.

According to him, apart from the 85 million cedis CAL Bank loan, the Ministry had an additional 45 million cedis allocated by GETFund for the construction of 214 six-unit classroom blocks, bringing the total number of six-unit classroom blocks to 375 and 55 two-storey blocks.

He said last Monday marked three years after the loan was approved and the Ministry cannot even boast of 60 six-unit classroom blocks out of the total of 375.

He maintained that even in the Deputy Minister’s attempted response to his answers, it is clear that some of the projects the ministry cited as projects being executed with the approved GETFund amount were projects that were commenced in 2009 and 2010.

“If you add all these ones they do not even add up to 60 six-unit classroom blocks. Over 30 were started before the [CAL Bank] facility was approved on March 17 2011.

“So the question is, if the money has been disbursed to them, where is the money and where are the projects?” Simon Osei Mensah demanded in an interview with Joy News’ Evans Mensah.

Deputy Education Minister Samuel Okudzeto told Mensah the MP virtually “ambushed” him on the floor of Parliament.

He said the MP did not specify anywhere in his question to Parliament that he wanted answers on how the CAL Bank loan was disbursed for the projects.

Ablakwa said the CAL bank loan was to carry out “quick fix projects” to facilitate the completion of school blocks for the four year education system that was introduced.

He dismissed assertions of misappropriation, adding now that the MP has come “clear and clean” all documents will be put together and a full accounts will be rendered to Parliament