Ghanaian Times Editorial: Write-off GHC27,000 loan given to farmers – Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa Assembly appeals to PAC
The Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa District Assembly has appealed to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to assist it write-off a GHC27,000 loan facility it had given to farmers in the district.
At an average of GHC120 per head, the debtors have been able to pay GHC274,000 of the GHC301,700 loans the Assembly gave them in 2013, leaving a balance of GHC27,000.
The amount, according to officials of the Assembly, was disbursed through Aki Micro Finance Company, a defunct micro finance firm by virtue of the crackdown on unlicensed financial institutions.
Among the defaulters are beneficiaries of government pro-poor programme, Livelihoods Empowerment Against Poverty Programme (LEAP).
Some of the defaulters are said to have passed on.
“The loan was in a form of a poverty alleviation initiative which was to be given to poor and needy women groups with an interest of three per cent.
“Some of the beneficiaries are even dead, so retrieving it became a problem,” Eugene Saparky, the District Finance Officer told the PAC in Accra yesterday.
“As we said these are people who are very poor and needy,” he emphasised.
Asked if it was possible to retrieve the remainder, Mr Saparky said that would be difficult.
“Mr Chairman, from the few of them that we have looked at, in reality, it would be extremely difficult for them to be able to pay those monies.
“Some of the people are not alive and the ones alive, if you look at their physical status, you could see that it would be difficult for them to pay that money,” he reiterated.
He said as people who were already on government bursary, it would be harsh to pursue them for the balance, years after they have been unable to settle the debt.
The Chairman of the Committee, James Klutse Avedzi, after listening to the request of the Assembly officials, said the Committee would recommend to plenary to write-off the loan as bad debt.
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