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General News Mon, 22 Jul 2013

Zoomlion, Rlg and others to refund over GH¢200 million to State

Government is to recoup over GH¢200 million from service providers with the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA).

The investigative committee set up by Youth and Sports Minister, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah found that service providers took advantage of lapses within GYEEDA to overcharge the state and received payments they did not deserve.

The Committee last week presented its report to the President recommending among other things that the programme be saved from collapse.

Three companies from the AGAMS Group are to refund a total of GH¢55.5 million to the state. This amount is made up of an overpayment of GH¢5.5 million GYEEDA made to RLG Communications Limited.

The report says lapses in the finance department of GYEEDA are partly to blame for the overpayments. The three companies; Craftpro, Asongtaba Contage Industry and Exchange Programme and RLG Communications also owe the state interest free loans to the tune of GH¢50 million.

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Officials of the AGAMS Group have confirmed to JOYNEWS that some of the loans were due for payment two years ago, but the companies have not paid a pesewa, according to the report.

The committee also said the loans were illegal because they have no parliamentary approval as provided by Article 181 of the 1992 Constitution. Another company, which must refund money to the state, is the Goodwill International Group.

It is to refund an overpayment of GH¢2.4 million. The company is also to refund over US$2 million it took from GYEEDA but did not render any service. Better Ghana Management Service is also to refund money according to the report.

The company was paid GH¢58.1 million for training but failed to provide the service. It also overcharged GH¢9 million for bicycles it purported to have supplied GYEEDA beneficiaries.

Better Ghana Management Service is also expected to refund GH¢67.1 million to the state. The worst culprit, according to the report, is Zoomlion Ghana Limited. The company is said to have overcharged the state for tricycle and motorbike to the tune of GH¢74.2 million.

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The report says; "the management fee schedule provided by Zoomlion, suggests a serious misuse of the public purse and was based on erroneous mathematics".

The committee blames the overpayments partly on the incompetence of the Head of Finance at GYEEDA, Alhaji Sulemana Ibrahim. According to report, Alhaji Ibrahim admitted he is not capable of preparing financial statements.

The committee therefore recommends his removal from office. In all the state will retrieve over GH¢203 million if the report is implemented. The committee also suggests the state will save huge sums of money every month if government cancels the contracts.

Source: Joy Online