Officials of the Bank of Ghana will appear before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament today over foreign exchange receipts, particularly the disputed $600 million which is alleged to be missing from the accounts of the bank’s foreign reserves.
The last time officials of the bank met the PAC, the issue of the ‘missing’ money came up; but explanations given by the delegated official, Yaw Abalo, who is the head of treasury at the bank, did not satisfy committee members, who insisted that the Governor himself or any of his deputies appear before the committee to properly answer questions on how those monies were expended.
The PAC is also expected to look at the accounts of the Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC) today.
It could not however sit yesterday as scheduled because some of the principal auditees did not receive their invitation on time.
The committee was supposed to look at the Mining Development Fund and some of its beneficiaries; but Chief Executives of invited beneficiaries like the Obuasi Municipal Assembly in the Ashanti Region, together with Tarkwa/Nsuaem and Prestea-Hemang-Huni Valley, both in the Western Region, sent information at the eleventh hour that they did not receive the information on time from their parent Ministry—the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development—so they should be given more time to be able to appear.
The chairman of PAC, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, told DAILY GUIDE yesterday that he was disappointed that officials of the invited municipal and district assemblies could not meet the committee to explain how monies appropriated from the mining fund were used.
According to him, invitation letters were dispatched on time to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development for onward transmission to the beneficiary assemblies, so they would appear before the committee; but the letters were said to have reached them late.
He said a new date would have to be fixed for them to appear before the committee.
A member of the committee and New Patriotic Member of Parliament for Bunkpurugu, Solomon Namliit Boar, has, in the meantime, urged members of the public as well as media practitioners to support the work of the committee, which tries to ensure accountability in governance.
He said previously, people did not have enough confidence in the work of the PAC because after the committee’s recommendations, no action seemed to be taken on it.
He said now the committee had developed a process where it would closely monitor the executive to ensure that its recommendations were carried to the letter.
“We now have a sub-committee to monitor the process and report back to the plenary,” he said, adding that through the efforts of the committee, over GH¢1 million of misappropriated fund had been refunded to the state in the past year.
“As a new member of the committee, I have realised that almost all the committee members, whether from the ruling party or the opposition, have been diligent and impartial to ensure that all those who appear before us are well scrutinised.”
By Thomas Fosu Jnr
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