A member of the Public Accounts Committee is convinced the “whooping” overrun of budget expenditures over years have contributed significantly to the unbearable power crisis.
Solomon Namliit Boar, who is the Member of Parliament for Bunkpurugu, told Joy News that consistently ministries, departments, agencies and government machinery having been exceeding their budgets by over 400%.
He suspects the amounts running into billions of cedis were not put into any productive use. “Definitely if they have set it in productive areas, I am sure it has started yielding the desired dividends by now,” he strongly argued.
When the Controller and Accountant General Ms Grace Francisca Adzroe appeared before Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee today, it was revealed that in 2012 alone, the Electoral Commission spent 180 million cedis instead of the approved 20 million cedis. The Ministry of Energy was allocated 270 million cedis but spent as high as 746 million cedis.
Deputy Finance Minister, Cassiel Ato Forson told the media the expenditures were for special projects.
He explained: “The election expenditure around 180 million cedis was budgeted for under other government obligations. So if you look at Electoral Commission as a whole and you think that the Electoral Commission spent 200 million cedis as their total expenditure vis-a-vis comparing it to what was budgeted for them, you will think that there is over expenditure…that is not the case.”
But the explanation being offered by the finance ministry appears to have been rejected by Mr. Namliit Boar. Government, he said, has always been hiding behind so-called government obligations to engage in wanton dissipation of taxpayers’ money.
He wondered, “What are these government obligations that you normally find it very difficult to bring before Parliament for approval?”
The MP called for concerted efforts to curtail the excessive overrun, which he easily linked to the power crisis which has become known as “dumsor”.
“Who knows if this is not part of it (dumsor)? It is part of it, you don’t need any person to come and tell you that we are suffering because of previous happenings as far as our finances are concerned,” he pointed out.
He hopes the Controller and Accountant General would furnish the Public Accounts Committee with the details of what the monies were spent on by Thursday.
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