Business News of 2014-08-19

Banks delay government audit

Attempts by Ernst & Young, an accounting firm, to establish the veracity of claims by bulk oil distributing companies that government owes them GH¢1.8 billion has hit the snag.

The commercial banks have declined to disclose their clients’ information to third parties under the rules of engagement.

Ernst & Young was engaged in June 2014 by government to establish whether figures being put out by importers of petroleum products were accurate.

The audit process demands that the accounting firm goes to the oil distribution companies and the banks to reconcile their books, but commercial banks have not been cooperative.

According to them, under their rules, they were not required to release such information to third parties unless the oil distribution companies approved such move.

The commercial banks further argued that the Bank of Ghana (BoG) has every letter of credit they gave out.

Deputy Minister of Energy, Benjamin Dagadu, in an interview lately, stated that government was hopeful it would reach an agreement with the bankers soon so that the audit would go ahead.

He noted that government would hold a meeting with bankers in order to resolve the issue.

Government additionally disclosed that challenges with the distribution of premix oil would soon be over.

On Friday, more than 23 tankers had been supplied with the commodity for onward release onto the market.

Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), which was also said to be having some 2,000 metric tonnes of the commodity, said it was blending the premix oil for supply to the market.

Source: Daily Guide
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