General News of Monday, 24 July 2017
Past officials under the erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC), who were mandated to superintend over affairs of the Ashanti Region as Ministers, Deputies, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) but engaged in shady deals will soon be exposed.
The exposure according to Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah will not be limited to these appointees but technocrats who were direct signatories to various accounts culminating into huge debts succeeded by the present administration.
He has accordingly directed that all MMDA to block debts accounts of the respective assemblies within their jurisdiction to allow for a thorough audit to be conducted into the authenticity of those debts citing instances where the debt owed was quadruple the capital of the business.
“Someone comes to say we owe him/her and the amount which is way beyond the person’s business capital how is that possible? I have directed they bring loan agreements and other documents for us to authenticate the agreements. They should give me the documents. We will soon hold a press conference to expose the rot at the RCC under the previous administration and those involved”, he hinted on Accra-based Okay Fm.
The Minister advised MMDAs in the region to negotiate with the Finance Ministry in order to open new bank accounts where they will receive government remittances henceforth until the verification of the numerous debts are completed.
“We will investigate the debts, those we can pay which are genuine, we will but those that were not genuinely contracted we block them. The persons who accrued those debts are the same persons claiming we are not working and piling pressure on us. After the audit, we will meet the creditors and negotiate a payment plan because we largely depend on District Assemblies Common Fund and each time the maximum received per district is GH¢600,000 when some of the districts owe above GH¢2 million. How can we carry on with development”, he asked.
According to him, all the 30 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies are saddled with debts with the RCC alone owning about GH¢ 1.5million.
“KMA alone owes GH¢75 million aside what court has set aside. If you add that KMA debt portfolio is about GH¢100 million yet people expect development. All MMDAs in the region owe about GH¢ 155 million. When can we overcome these huge debts and begin development?
He hinted that some technocrats are to blame for the debts that have saddled with various MMDAs because they are mostly signatories to bank accounts.
“It is time to push the technocrats because they must be responsible. People put the politician in the centre of the issue and the substance is lost”, he added