Bloated contract figures: Minority dares Akufo-Addo to prosecute offenders

The Minority in Parliament is daring the president to prosecute persons within the previous administration he accused of bloating contract figures.

At the very least, the Minority spokesperson on Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson challenged the president to “name and shame” the persons and companies behind this bloated contract figures and stop engaging in empty propaganda.

He was responding to president Nana Akufo-Addo’s claim that the government, after auditing the debts bequeathed to his government, made some GH¢5.7 billion savings.

In his second encounter with the media, the president minced no words in chiding the Mahama led government of inflating contract prices.

"We have had to subject 8 billion cedis of arrears, bequeathed to us in 2017, to a process of audit review and validation. The audit service has certified payments to the tune of GH¢5.5 billion and rejected about GH¢5.7 billion cedis, representing a potential savings of 51% on these outstanding commitments. This shows the validity of our criticism that so much of contracts awarded in the Mahama era were inflated, and apparently, in some cases, non-existent,"  President Akufo-Addo alleged.

Hours after the president’s remark, the Deputy Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah painted a more gloomy picture of the situation.

He told Newsnight hosts Evans Mensah and Emefa Apawu, he has seen a dossier from the Auditor General, names of persons who claimed to be owed huge sums of money but when they were asked to bring supporting documents for validation they failed to show up.

Some even came to say they had already been paid, he said.

“When you ask these persons to bring you what they are requesting from government and they bring you 11 billion [cedis] and you now go through a process of validation and only 5.5 billion can be validated, some disappear, some don’t come back, some come and admit that they have been paid already yet they had put in new claims.. The president is justified in making the argument that indeed things were bloated and or things that were non-existent were programmed to be paid,” Oppong-Nkrumah suggested.

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