Government hints of possible sanctions meted out to non-compliant Specified Entities

Minister of Public Enterprises, Joseph Cudjoe has said recommendations have been made to the Ministry of Finance to mete out possible sanctions against Specified Entities flouting the rules of engagement.

According to him, Board members, Management, Chairpersons and Heads of the Specified Entities must acquaint themselves and implement recommendations as outlined in the Auditor-General’s report in order to curb infractions.

Delivering brief remarks at the presentation of the 2021 Infractions Audit Joint Report by the State Interest and Governance Authority, Joseph Cudjoe called for a high level of commitment on the part of Specified Entities and other stakeholders.

“I have had discussions with the Director General of SIGA to think through possible sanctions that will be meted out to Specified Entities that will fail to implement recommendations outlined in the Auditor General’s report,” Joseph Cudjoe hinted.

“One framework that has come up in our discussions is to make recommendations to the Minister of Finance to use withholder methods for budget releases as a punitive measure for non-compliance in this regard. It is non-financial in nature and it is easy to withhold Specified Entities with these sanctions,” the minister added.

Joseph Cudjoe added that he believes the move would come in handy to tackle the issue of non-compliance which has long been endemic among Specified Entities.

Source: Ghana Web

Ken Ofori-Atta will never be fired, he represents the president – Dr Assibey-Yeboah

Former New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP), Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah, has said that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will never fire Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta.

According to Dr Assibey-Yeboah, the president will not sack Ofori-Atta because he does not think he (Ofori-Atta) has failed, contrary to the assertions of some members of the NPP, including the party’s parliamentarians.

Speaking in an interview on Adom TV, monitored by GhanaWeb, on Tuesday, the ex-NPP MP added that Ofori-Atta is also not going to resign because the policies he implemented were on behalf of the president and decisions of the cabinet.

“The president says Ken is doing a fantastic job. He says he is doing an excellent job. He also never said he would fire him (Ofori-Atta) during the revolt by the NPP MPs, he told them to let him finish the IMF negotiations so that they could revisit the issue.

“… He (Ofori-Atta) is not going anywhere. He is not going to resign; why should he resign? The guy is doing an excellent job, according to the president.

“The finance minister represents the president. The other time I held one of the MPs saying that they told Ofori-Atta to reduce the E-Levy to 1.5 percent but he did not listen so he should be sacked. The budget is the president’s budget and the cabinet met to determine the E-levy rate. Is this a basis for Ofori-Atta to resign or be sacked,” he said in Twi.

Dr. Assibey-Yeboah, a former chairman of Parliament’s Finance Committee, also stated that he has information indicating that the position of Minister of State in Charge of Finance, which became vacant following the firing of Charles Adu Boahene, will be filled within the week.

Source: Ghana Web

Review DDEP to avoid financial sector collapse – Dr Kwabena Duffuor

Former finance minister, Dr Kwabena Duffuor has called for a review of government’s Domestic Debt Exchange Programme to avert a collapse of the financial sector.

According to him, government must rethink the strategy and engage thoroughly to ensure the programme is sustainable and one that does not erode gains made in the financial sector.

Speaking in an interview with Accra-based JoyNews, the former former finance minister who is contesting in the flagbearership race of the National Democratic Congress raised concern about the inclusion of shareholders in the DDEP.

“You cannot deal with my caretaker when I have not been consulted. At the end of the day, it will fall on me the shareholder, so there is the need for them to be part of the broad consultations to express their views.” “If you don’t manage the domestic debt exchange programme properly, the financial sector will be weakened in such a way that it won’t be able to perform the role that it is supposed to perform” he explained.

He added that various calls made by stakeholders for government to have a round table discussion with private entities will help in the successful implementation of the programme but if government continued on its current path, the financial sector will be put in harm’s way.

Dr Duffuor however charged Ghanaians to treat the matter with all seriousness and speak up to protect the country from the dire consequences the debt exchange programme will bring in the near future.

He explained that government’s decision to include insurance claims might cause problems for financial institutions as they would have to look elsewhere for monies to pay their clients.

He cited the bond of GH¢1.7 billion as an example and the premiums collected at the present which are now in government bonds.

Dr Duffuor further expressed concern about the already dwindling confidence in government instruments and cautioned that if the debt exchange programme in its current state was not reviewed, there will be no motivation to buy treasury bills in the near future.

Source: Ghana Web

A-G’s report: Delayed, abandoned, equipped but unused projects amount to over GH¢200 million

The Auditor General’s report on the management of the COVID-19 expenditure has revealed that delayed projects, abandoned projects, and equipped but not in use projects that were to help in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic costs over GH¢200 million.

The report showed that equipped Isolation Centres that are not in use are valued at GH¢29,173,260, projects that were to be completed in 6 months and had not been completed after 30 months were valued at GH¢158,072,331 whiles projects that have been abandoned cost GH¢15,000,000.

“During our verification and inspection of projects in November 2022, we noted that three treatment, isolation, and holding centers completed at a total cost of GH¢29,173,259.90 was yet to be put to use,” parts of the report read.

Source: Ghana Web