EOCO joins probe of fraudulent withdrawal of allowance at YEA

The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) has been invited to probe alleged fraudulent drawing of allowance at the Youth Employment Agency (YEA).

A total of 2,999 people are said to be drawing monthly allowances from the Agency for no work done.

YEA management has explained this costs the country huge sums that could have been used to expand the Agency’s work.

Speaking to Evans Mensah on Joy FM’s Top Story Thursday, acting YEA Deputy CEO, Bashiru Ibrahim, said they invited EOCO because of the nature of the issues they have uncovered at the Agency.

He said they have handed all the relevant documents to EOCO to aid its independent investigations into the matter.

A preliminary internal investigation by the current management of YEA disclosed some discrepancies and underhand dealings at the Agency.

According to the Agency, a total of 208 beneficiaries were found to use the same E-Zwich numbers to withdraw their money and others are being paid for no work done.

It also revealed there was the issue of non-payment of some beneficiaries since May 2016 that has led to huge arrears.

In the face of this revelation, the Agency has suspended payment of beneficiaries allowance until the comprehensive auditing of the account is completed.

Although sections of Ghanaians have expressed dissatisfaction with the development, Mr Ibrahim said the suspension of payment has saved the Agency a total of GHC1,067,700 per month.

He said the internal Audit Department of the Agency has also been tasked to conduct a nationwide investigation to catalogue its workforce. “They are currently in the Northern Region doing the auditing over there,” he said of the Internal Auditors.

But former YEA CEO, Kobina Beecham, told Joy News he engaged in no illegality within the two years he served as the head of the Agency.

He said he acted right to expand the programme, adding his integrity is intact.