In the concluding report on Joy News’ investigations into questionable payments at the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), it has emerged that the utility regulator paid a total of about GHȻ54,000 to MPs and groups of people described as “key stakeholders”.
Documents sighted by Joy News indicate that the PURC paid GHȻ20,000 to five law makers.
In an internal memo dated July 23, 2013, the PURC released the money as what it calls “protocol cash” for Muslim MPs on the Parliamentary Select Committee on Mines and Energy to “bless them in the Ramadan period”.
“As religion demands whatever is given to them would be used for themselves and their constituents,” part of the memo reads.
Asawase MP, Muntaka Mubarak, is listed among the five parliamentarians as a beneficiary.
In an interaction with another MP on the list, Adam Mutawakilu, MP for Damongo-Daboya, he admits that he was given the money by PURC, but, he is not aware of the amount given to other members.
The PURC also gave out GHȻ34,000 to 25 parliamentarians and their clerks for a stakeholders’ consultation on natural gas transportation pricing.
The Executive Secretary of the PURC, Samuel Sarpong, told Joy News’ Kwettey Nartey that allowances were given to the stakeholders after a training on natural gas.
“We were bringing what we call natural gas and we needed parliamentarians to understand. So anytime we are bringing anything new, we needed to train them. We did it for them,” he said.
On why the five Muslim MPs were given the money Mr Sarpong said, “We do give money on Christmas time. The principle was that the PURC gave hampers to the Christian MPs. So, to balance it out, it was an innovative way of supporting the Muslim MPs.”
Another document intercepted by Joy News, reveals that the PURC released GHȻ60,000 for the media and people it calls “key stakeholders” for the quarter automatic adjustment formula implementation process.