ACEP Raises Alarm Over Embezzled Oil Money

The school at Dabaabi

The African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) has questioned how the previous Mahama administration disbursed an amount of GH¢110,546.00 from the country’s oil proceeds to fund a kindergarten school project in the Brong Ahafo Region which eventually has been found to be non-existent.

According to the centre, its investigations revealed that the GH¢245,082.00 project was reported to have been completed in June 2014 at Dabaabi, a small farming community in the Brong Ahafo Region but was never executed.

Dr Ishmael Ackah, Policy Advisor for ACEP, who disclosed this to Accra-based Joy FM, said contrary to reports that the project had been completed, residents in the community were now struggling to build the kindergarten.

As their contribution, every adult resident was paying GHȻ8.00 every month while ACEP had volunteered to provide funding support to roof the building.

Giving a brief overview of the project, Dr Ackah, said in 2014 an amount of GHȻ110,546.00 of Ghana’s oil money was allocated to build a kindergarten in Dabaabi to replace a makeshift building that served as a classroom block for the kids.

The cost of the project was GH¢245,082 but GHȻ110,546.00 of the oil money was said to have been paid to a company to execute the project.

The project is captured in page 30 of Petroleum Reconciliation Report 2014, as finished project, paid for and immensely benefiting the people of the community.

However, under a partnership programme between DFID and ACEP to investigate projects funded with Ghana’s oil money, it has the kindergarten is only a mirage.

Dr Ackah said several letters written to the Finance Ministry to show evidence of the building they paid for proved futile.

However, officers at the Ministry, on condition of anonymity, confirmed to ACEP that monies had been paid for the construction of the project.

More than two years after the Ministry claimed to have completed the project, nothing is on the site, except the structure the community members are contributing to put up by themselves.

A confirmation has been made by Municipal Chief Executive of Dormaa, Godwin Asubonteng, via an SMS that no such project has been put up in the area.

ACEP stated that Ghana’s oil money has been misappropriated on several occasions, adding that in 2015 several thousands of dollars were supposedly spent on the construction of a 14 kilometers asphalt road at Tafo in the Eastern Region to facilitate the transportation of farmers and their produce from Tafo to adjoining communities and markets.

However, Dr Ackah said only 1.3 kilometers of the road was constructed at the same cost.

When contacted, the contractor made an excuse that the middle point of the road project was hilly and required concrete instead of asphalt, hence the reduction in length of the road.

ACEP indicated that it would soon present a full report on the projects.

It appears cases involving embezzlement of funds are being revealed after the NDC handed over power to the NPP.

By Samuel Boadi

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