A member of the Public Accounts Committee, Isaac Asiamah, has questioned government’s commitment towards retrieving monies owed the state by some 10 service providers who benefitted from interest-free loans in 2012.
It will be recalled that an Investigative Committee found that the companies took advantage of lapses within the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA), now christened Youth Employment Agency (YEA), to milk the state.
They were subsequently asked to pay back the money, but so far only rlg and Asongtaba Cottage Industries have obliged. Some of the other service providers are contesting the amount they have to pay.
Speaking to Class News’ parliamentary correspondent Ekow Annan, Mr Asiamah said the laid-back attitude of government shows it is in bed with the service providers.
“…Clearly the attitude of the government to retrieve the funds is [suspicious]. They are not interested at all in retrieving the money. How much have they been able to retrieve since 2012? …We are not serious that somebody takes government money, five years, he comes to pay the same amount to you, how can Ghana progress,” he asked.
“The interest-free loans were packaged to satisfy a group of people and the Supreme Court did indicate that the whole thing was to create, loot, and share. The people there sat down and said: ‘This is state money, let us have a way of taken it and spending it,’” Mr Asiamah alleged.
Meanwhile, Employment and Labour Relations Minister, Haruna Iddrisu has told Class News steps are being put in place to ensure such wanton dissipation of public funds do not occur again. He also added that a new recruitment drive for the country’s youths will be devoid of partisanship affiliation.
“The new policy is to limit what amount of money goes into service charges against what beneficiary allowances should be. In the past, you could have a situation where a service provider got GHS400 or GHS500 from government in respect of a beneficiary, but ended up on the basis of his cost and bank borrowing to return less than just GHS100 to the beneficiary,” he stated.
“The new policy directive is that each beneficiary should earn GHS250 as allowance and GHS50 goes into the provident funds that when he is exiting he can go home after the two years with the accumulation of the GHS50. We need to reduce and eliminate partisanship in terms of the opportunity. Every Ghanaian young person is entitled to the benefits of this country regardless of his political affiliation”.