General News of Sat, 14 Apr 20185
PIAC created needless alarm over oil funds report – Kwakye Ofosu
A former Deputy Minister of Information, in the NDC government, Felix Kwakye Ofosu has accused the Public Interest and Accountability Committee(PIAC) of misleading the public on the alleged misuse of public funds by the previous NDC government.
According to PIAC, 50 percent of oil-funded projects in the three regions up-north from the 2016 budget is nonexistent. Chairman of PIAC, Dr Steve Manteaw, disclosed this at a press conference in Accra on Tuesday, 10 April 2018.
“Six projects were inspected in the Upper East, Upper West and Northern regions [and] the findings and observations were overwhelming with 50 per cent of the projects being nonexistent, he noted, adding “Over 50 per cent of school projects inspected showed signs of serious deterioration in less than three years after completion.”
This he said had cost the state about 1.2 billion dollars.
However, speaking on Newsfile Saturday, Mr. Kwakye Ofosu insisted there was no wrongdoing on the part of the erstwhile Mahama administration regarding the allegations in the oil funds report authored by PIAC.
“I’m not for a minute questioning their integrity or ascribing any ill-motive to them, but I’m saying that the process as we speak now stands incomplete. There is no audit process that is in itself final. Even the Auditor-General when he does his report it is subject to parliamentary scrutiny."
"When parliament does the scrutiny and people feel hard done by, they can test the claims or contest the claims of the Auditor-General in court and in many cases, audit findings have been shot down for want of evidence to prosecute the persons against whom the findings have been made."
"So I’m saying at this moment, how PIAC put out the report or better still how the media reported it created needless alarm," he argued on Newsfile Saturday.
But a member of the governing New Patriotic Party(NPP) Communications Team, Gary Nimako has called on the Auditor General to look into the latest report by the Public Interest and Accountability Committee(PIAC).
Mr. Nimako said individuals found to have misappropriated the oil funds should be made to face prosecution.
“When you’re given public money, the money is for public use. That money is not for private use, or private gain or private purposes; is very clear on that point. And therefore at any material time when you are called upon to come and account for your stewardship or how you disbursed that money you should be ready to account for the use of that money.
That’s the matter simpliciter. But where is the money? Was the money returned back to the ex-checker? or the money has gone into private pockets? he questioned.