August 10, 2017

Mr Kennedy Kankam, the Member of Parliament for Nhyiaeso, has called for investigations into circumstances leading to the withdrawal of GH¢896,457.00 from the Consolidated Fund which were pay-cuts of Former President Mahama’s appointees without recourse to the law.

He said nobody could withdraw money from the Consolidated Fund without invoking Article 178 of the Constitution.

Mr Kankam made the call when he spoke to the media after the sitting of the Public Account Committee (PAC) in Parliament.

The PAC is currently holding a public hearing on the Report of the Auditor General for the Public Accounts of Ghana for the year ended 31st December, 2015.

In November 2013, Mr Seth Terkper, then the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, announced in the Government’s Budget that President John Mahama and his Vice, Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, as well as all ministers of state were to make a voluntary 10 per cent pay cut.

According to him the decision was to demonstrate leadership on the part of the President and his appointees.

The move, he said, was among the many austerity measures being introduced to help save Ghana’s ailing economy.

Besides, the monies realised from the pay cut would be used to construct Community-Based Health Planning Services (CHPS) compounds to provide maternal and neo-natal health care services to rural communities.

Mr Kankam said whoever took the money from the Consolidated Fund must come to Parliament to account to the people.

He said in the 2014 financial year, GH¢896,457.00 was realised from the voluntary 10 per cent pay cut, however the contributions for 2015 was zero.

He said his main concern was about the one who took the money from the Fund without due regard to the law.

Mrs Abena Osei Asare, the Deputy Minister of Finance, said the freeze on public sector employment was still on until the country completed the International Monetary Fund programme in December 2018.

She explained that though the ministries of Education and Health could still employ people, they must seek financial clearance from the Ministry of Finance to ensure that when they engaged the people they would be able to pay them.

She said the Government did not want to encourage budget overruns and, as such, there was the need to seek the financial clearance.

Mrs Osei Asare gave the assurance that government was working with the Controller and Accountant General to recover the loans owed the state by both government and private institutions.

She said when the current government came into office it realised that 540 institutions owed about GH¢1 billion in loans.

She said the Ministry of Finance had set up a dedicated desk for the recovery of the loans.

Mrs Osei Asare advised workers who had not registered with the SSNIT biometric system to endeavour to do so.

She said workers who for one reason or the other were wrongly deleted from the Controller and Accountant General Department payroll should go back to re-register to be restored onto the payroll.