August 27, 2013

Dan Kwaku Botwe, Member of Parliament for Okere, has blamed government for eight million, eight hundred and thirty-five thousand Ghana Cedis (GHc8,835,000) owed the state by organizations and individuals to whom 36 state-owned enterprises have been divested.

He does not understand how such a huge amount of money can go down the drain at the watch of a government in power.

Management of Divestiture Implementation Committee (DIC) on Monday appeared before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to be quizzed on the Auditor General’s 2011 report.

There, it was disclosed that out of GHc8,835,000, the debtors have been able to pay only GHc891,448.

It was also disclosed that Star Hotel and La Beach Hotel which was sold to investors in 1993 have been resold to another organization and the investors have left the country without settling its full debt to the state.

Speaking on the issue in a panel discussion on Kokrokoo, Dan Botwe expressed shock at how such an amount can be misplaced at the blind side of government and bemoaned that even though PAC has disclosed such important information bordering on corruption, nothing will be done about it.

He said if the companies were sold in 1993, it should have been realized by the government in power because it would have appeared in the auditor general’s report.

“Issues that arise from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) come and go and nothing is done about it. I will put the blame at the doorsteps of government; successive government; because they are supposed to work with the report that they (PAC) will submit. Definitely it will appear in the auditor general’s report, and why has it not been worked with? All these money is going down the drain meanwhile we are going around looking for loans,” he opined.

He said government must insist on getting to the roots of this issue or find experts who will help in retrieving the money that has definitely ended up in individual’s pocket.

Dan Botwe advocated that various groups such as NGO, TUC and the media must make it part of their duties to emphasize on such issues until government does something about it.

“These are some of the things I want to hear strike action on. It is time for positive action; if the politicians will not take any action. if you go on strike only because of your salary then you are becoming selfish because this is national issue which will affect development…we all know the state owns Star Hotel – all of a sudden it is sold and nothing is heard of it… we keep talking about schools under trees and so on and then after that we make money leak out of state coffers.

The fact that government property is sold and nothing is heard about it; is it not an insult? We need genuine selfless people to be in leadership,” he advocated.