12 March 2018

Ghana: Akatsi DCE, Predecessor in Tango Over Debt Status of Assembly

The District Chief Executive (DCE) of Akatsi South in the Volta Region, Leo-Nelson Adzodogah and his immediate predecessor, Samuel Kwadzo Wuadi, are at each other's throats over the debt status of the district.

According to Mr Adzodogah, his predecessor left a "suffocating debt overhang" of GH¢4,062,360 which was crippling the overall development of the district.

At a press conference in the district capital, Akatsi on February 14, 2018 to disclose the debt stock of the area, Mr Adzodogah said the arrears covered contracts awarded under the various sources of funding the assembly relies on for projects.

They are the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF), MPs Common Fund, District Development Facility (DDF), HIPC Fund, the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) and Internally Generated Fund.

But in a rebuttal at a press conference in Akatsi on Thursday, Mr Wuadi said his successor was being untruthful with the facts.

This is because the budgeting system of the district assembly concept, since its inception, works on expected revenue and projected expenditure and that "projected expenditures are not debt and cannot be debt."

In the view of Mr Wuadi, his successor does not understand the district assembly concept and its budgeting system because "most of these projects are ongoing and it is only when certificates are raised and approved by the assembly that debt arise."

"The total amount due are those certificates that were certified by the appropriate authorities at the assembly for value of work done by the various supplies and contractors totaling GH¢1.371,978," the former DCE said.

This position was corroborated by the summary of the debt status of the assembly as of February 12, 2018, sighted by the Ghanaian Times, and signed by the District Finance Officer which pegs the debt at GH¢1.376,183.07.

Giving a breakdown of the projects, Mr Wuadi said of the 116 contracts awarded 81 was completed, 26 were ongoing, whiles nine have stalled; challenging his successor to ensure the stalled projects were completed for use by the people.

Mr Wuadi challenged the current DCE to "produce the evidence to the contrary and produce the outstanding certificates of work done that amounted to over GH¢4 million and stop the cheap political propaganda with ill motive which will not help for the smooth development of our dear district."

The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), Mr Wuadi said, in 2015 and 2016 conducted investigations into the activities of the assembly upon allegation of financial malfeasance but found no merit and had dully cleared the assembly and himself of any wrongdoing.

He in turn alleged that his successor, since assuming office had awarded contracts for the renovation of his official bungalow, renovation of his office, reconditioning of his car among others at "exorbitant prices without following proper procurement procedures and making payments without warrant contrary to the Public Financial Management Act."


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