Canvas money sack, gold coins and inscription "cash"

Ranking member for the Public Accounts Committee Okyere Agyekum has dismissed widely circulated reports that Ghana lost 12 billion cedis to financial irregularities in the 2017 Auditor General’s report of public boards and corporations.

The figure has been copiously quoted by opponents of the E-Levy to underscore the wastage in the system.

“The total irregularities figure of GH¢718,085,208 for 2016 increased to GH¢12,002,880,339 in 2017. The irregularities declined by GH¢8,995,621,415 in 2018 to GH¢3,007,258,924. However, the total irregularities increased by 81.8% from the 2018 figure of GH¢3,007,258,924 to GH¢5,468,398,431 in 2019. During the period ending 31 December 2020 the total irregularities recorded a 135% or GH¢7,387,774,195 rise from GH¢5,468,334,006 in 2019 total irregularities figure to GH¢12,856,172,626 in 2020. This was occasioned mainly by a surge of GH¢5,207,442,576 or 107% in outstanding debtors/loans/recoverable component of the total irregularities for the period ending 31 December 2020,” the report said.

Some of the infractions included contract irregularities, tax irregularities, procurement irregularities, payroll irregularities, cash irregularities, challenges retrieving loans from debtors among others.

But addressing the media Mr. Agyekum argued infractions reported in the auditor general’s reports do not amount to money lost to the state.

According to the PAC ranking member, such amounts are not available for government to recover as an alternative to E-Levy.

“If for political expediency we start saying that oh, if we say we want to do E-levy then go to the Auditor General’s report and then 2017 report there were 12 billion irregularities so go and collect that money so that there is no need for E-levy, is a lie! That money has been collected already, that money has been used already,” Okyere Agyekum said.

Source: Ghana/ Fm