Government has retrieved about GHc38.9 million from corrupt officials who siphoned state funds, according President John Mahama.
The amount was retrieved from the National Service Scheme and the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA) now the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) corruption scandals.
This was revealed by President John Dramani Mahama at the second high level conference on the national anti-corruption action plan in Accra on Wednesday.
NSS ghost names
An exposé by the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), revealed that 22,616 non-existent national service personnel (Ghost names) were paid allowances in more than 100 districts in July 2014.
Several officials of the scheme are being investigated for various roles they allegedly played in inserting the ghost names in the system.
Currently, the former NSS boss, Alhaji Imoro under whose watch the scandal was revealed, is on trial after he was accused of allegedly stealing GHc86.9 million belonging to the state.
The GYEEDA programme, a social intervention programme aimed at providing employable skills to youth in the country, has also been cited in a number of shady deals.
Former GYEEDA boss, Abuga Pele and Philip Assibit, Chief Executive Officer of Goodwill International Group, one of the companies contracted to provide services for the GYEEDA have been charged with wilfully causing financial loss to the state and defrauding by false pretenses and dishonestly causing financial loss to public property respectively.
According to President Mahama with regards to the NSS scam, the BNI and Attorney General’s Department are almost done with their investigations adding that “prosecutions are ongoing.”
He said “as at now, 33 officials including the former executive director and his deputy have been arraigned before court while about another 130 others are yet to be prosecuted. 163 personnel of the scheme have been dismissed and over 18.5 cedis has so far been recovered to the state.”
With the GYEEDA programme, the President said a number of persons including the former CEO, Abuga Pele are being prosecuted adding that “investigations of other persons implicated in the GYEEDA affair had been concluded and are pending prosecution.”
GHc40 million to be retrieved
“Still on GYEEDA with regards to loans illegally granted to some service providers, the state has been able to recover some 20.4 million cedis in relation to various modules implemented from Asongtaba Cottage Industry, rLG communications and Crafpro limited. I’ve asked EOCO and the Attorney Generals department to ensure that they are able to recover the outstanding balance of about 40.5 million from the said companies by the close of this year.”
He also said government has taken immediate steps to curb corruption and strengthen systems at the Youth Employment Agency [formerly called GYEEDA].”
The President further touted his government’s resolve to curb corruption saying “other high profile cases of causing financial loss are ongoing.”
“The republic vs. Alfred Agbesi Woyome, the republic vs. Ben Atsu Eleblu, Robert Azumah and Christopher Eleblu, the republic vs. Osborn Gyenin and one other are currently ongoing.
“Other dockets being finalised for prosecution by the Attorney General’s department include the republic vs. William Arkuful and one other and another GYEEDA case for stealing in the alleged oil and gas training module; the republic vs. Assibit, Dr. Shaibu Gariba and one other,” President Mahama highlighted.