Dear Mr. President,
On 05 September 2022, a non-partisan Coalition /movement made up of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and individuals interested in democratic, accountable transparent, responsible Governance occupied the premises of the Audit Service of Ghana (Auditor General) and pressurized for an immediate surcharge of persons and Institutions implicated in the 2019, 2020 and 2021 Audit Report from the Auditor General. During the Demo some persons mentioned cash irregularities amounting to GHC17.5 Billion and gave the impression that the whole sum was attributed to corruption and went further to say that if the State had saved the said amount, it would have helped improve the economy of Ghana, thus the request for IMF support for economic stability would not have been an option for Ghana.
This motivated me to go to the website of the Audit Service for a study of the report and it revealed very good works by the Auditor General including a risk assessment into the operations of some Licensed operators in the Small Scale Mining Sector (an area interest of to the Nation especially you as Head of State) with the view to finding out the State of Affairs, especially the performances of the Regulators of the Small Scale Mining Sector and the performances of some sample Licensed Small Scale Mining Companies by both inspection of relevant documents and physical visit by the Auditor General to the field to see state of conservation of the land after closure of mining operation . He also made a very good recommendation that the Ghana Water Company should rather take power direct from VRA/GREDCO and not from ECG, as measure to reduce cost to the Company therefore water cost of water to the Consumer, hence this open letter to you for a rich public discourse on some aspects of the 2021 Audit Report and the performances of State Officials as part of the fixing the Country Agenda.
Sir, pardon me as usual, for my brand of driving my point home with an initial elucidating on related national issues (history), before dealing with the topic that is on the par excellent work of Mr Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu, the Auditor General, who I hereby designate as a newly discovered compatriot in the fight against irresponsible mining by Small Scale Miners and the need for we, the citizenry to change our of attitude of the evil Pull Him Down (PHD) syndrome and for a positive and godly sense of Patriotism, Honesty and Discipline (PHD).
Since the chief matter in the Audit report that motivated me to make this submission is on Small Scale Mining (SSM), which is an area of interest to this Nation, it is necessary to give you a short history on Small Scale Mining which is what has made us not to succeed in quest to reduce the associated irresponsible mining to the barest minimum. So SSM started Worldwide since the days of Abraham and in Ghana history have it that it was done in Gold Coast before 1481, the arrival of Diogo De Azambujah and his fellow Portuguese Sailors as such before the birth of Ghana and not massive destruction of land detected until 2013, when it became a huge albatross around the necks of National Executives. This is so, because Small Scale Mining (SSM) is characterized as Mining activity by inexperienced poor folks in affected communities for livelihood and do so with disregard to the care of the environment, disposed to disaster, associated with unsafe practices, smuggling or unauthorized transaction of gold belonging to the State, informal (therefore it has illegal undertone), nomadic. Thus found as irresponsible manual mining operations by over millions of the operators, who regard the SSM as God given right for them (the operators of SSM) to escape from their miseries, occasioned by poverty (hence an informal poverty alleviation activity).
So, Small Scale Mining is basically an operation for survival and should never been seen as an area for wealth creation, hence as stated it is characterized as an irresponsible mining activity which has become the order of the day. Hence, all sorts of measures (military through use of minimum force, economic through alternative livelihood projects, political through legislation and formalization, psychologically etc) must be employed to reduce Small Scale Mining to the barest minimum level. To do so one need to understand history/characteristics of the enemy or the problem which is Small Scale Mining so that one applies the First Principle of War also regarded as the principle of business success that is SELECTION AND MAINTENANCE OF AIM with all sort of measures to combat it.
So, as stated, Ghana is not making progress in the fight against irresponsible mining or Small Scale Mining due to the poor understanding of what is Small Scale Mining, its characteristics (see some above), this led to the passage of an ambiguous Small Scale Mining Laws in 2006 as section 81 to 99 of Act 703. Hence, the daily cacophony of mixture of confused jargons of illegal mining, licensed Small Scale Mining, unlicensed Small Scale Mining, Galamsey, Galamsey is illegal Mining has made the whole situation to be difficult to determine or identify the real enemy as in the public discourse since 2014.
Thanks to the Auditor General, Mr Johnson Asiedu for his good research work as in the 2021 audit report. He has done a very good work to determine our real enemy that is destroying the environment as Small Scale Miners characterized by irresponsible mining supported by incompetent State Officials since 1999 as in his Audit Report. So, the failure to identify the real enemy as was done by the PNDC or the late Papa J and so that we tailor all resources (military, legal, fund, alternative livelihood projects etc) has been the reason for our failure to fight the real enemy, which has given room for foreigners including innocent Chinese including Aisha Hung (since 2008) who were conned or lured into the Small Scale Mining Sector by Ghanaian tycoons alleged with Small Scale Mining licenses.
Shockingly, the irresponsible mining was and is done with the tacit support of the State Officials including accomplices at the Presidency, Minerals Commission and Land Commission since 2008. A proof of the support for illegal mining involving Chinese by the Presidency etc was the story of Shanxi Mining Company in the Talensi District and others. These have been disclosed in a research work 2014 by Professor Crawford of University of Leeds and Professor Mba and others in 2015 and an article published in CNN by Yang Meng, a Chinese journalist in 2014.
Mr President as the saying goes the buck stops with the President, so you need to understand that Small Scale Mining is synonymous with Galamsey, and the real enemy of the State is SMALL SCALE MINING because Small Scale Mining which connotes irresponsible mining is an enemy to the environment (destruction of environment, polluting and diverting of rivers, through irresponsible mining) and also an enemy to the Nation’s, financial sector (loss of revenue through smuggling. It must be noted that the hoarding or keeping of gold obtained without permit or receipt from Precious Minerals Marketing Company or Bank of Ghana to account for the gold is illegal, evidence will show we have allowed some elements to store gold belong to the State without accounting for it as demanded by the Constitution).
It is very shocking that as at date we have not regarded Small Scale Mining as the real enemy, the massive destruction of the environment, the destruction/pollution of our rivers making them not suitable for farming, home consumption and for possible exploitation the potential of some of the rivers for mini-hydropower projects, the story of over US$5Billion smuggled to Emirates in 2016 and the fact that over millions ounces of gold was produced from Small Scale Mining in Ghana within the period Small Scale Mining was banned speaks volume of the real enemy (problem) of the Nation.
Mr President, section (6) of Article 257 of the 1992 Constitution indicated that the Minerals in the areas of Ghana belongs to the State and the minerals are vested in the President on behalf of and in trust for the people for Ghana. This implies that the President must ensure gold is mined in responsible manner by persons and companies with authorized operations permits from the State.
The President must also ensure that gold realized or picked or obtained under a license and operating permit from Minerals Commission and EPA respectively must not be kept by anyone or a Company for more than one week or one month or so without accounting for it to the State through selling the gold to an authorized buyer duly registered by the State or keeps the gold without official receipt from Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) or Bank of Ghana. So any act to the contrary is illegal. It is also illegal even if obtained through mining with licenses and kept at home without accounting to the State through GRA, PMMC and Bank of Ghana. This should be so because the gold belongs to the State as implied in section (6) of Article 257 of the 1992 Constitution. Thus it implies gold produced must be accounted to the State therefore hoarding gold without a prompt accounting and sale to the State by an operative of Small Scale Mining is also illegal act.
Sir, Mining is capital intensive, so, it was very wrong when Ghana regarded Small Scale Mining as a business or commercial activity for wealth creation and allowed we Ghanaians, noted for our brand for fronting for foreigners and use formed fraudulent Companies with the Ghanaian as Managing Director or CEO to obtain mining rights and end up selling the Mining Rights to Chinese, and thus the foreigner is made as the indirect owner of the fraudulent Ghanaian Company. So, the sensible thing for the State to do is to restrict Small Scale Mining to Community Mining or Cooperative Mining with rules and strong leaders to support National Officials to ensure compliance and ensure navigate all the current licensed Small Scale Mining Companies or Miners looking for wealth to a proposed Medium Scale Mining Sector to operate with similar conditions like Large Scale Mining Companies with local content policy and a minimum investment of US500,000.00 to be share of any foreigner as a collaborator, the Posting of reclamation bond after presentation of a Mine Closure which must include the plan Rehabilitation of the disturbed area.
So it was and is very sad that the Government instead of working very hard to contain Small Scale Mining with the concept of Cooperative Mining or Community Mining for a gradual transition of the operatives who are doing so for livelihoods and not necessary for wealth to Alternative Livelihood Projects as was done by the PNDC or being pursued by Ivory Coast with the support of USAID, the State rather encouraged the operation of Small Scale Mining. This with an ambiguous Small Scale Mining Law as section 81 to section 99 as embedded in the Minerals and Mining Law2006 (Act703) made it easy for business tycoons with lucrative business to invade the area and operate in the Small Scale Mining Sector regarded as poverty alleviation and not for wealth creation. So that the State officials since 2006 must be held responsible for their negligence to act in a sound manner.
Sir, you as President of Ghana, who took a Presidential Oath during your inauguration by which you solemnly affirmed to preserve, uphold, protect and defend the Constitution of Ghana, therefore including the environment and the resources must rise up to the occasion to do exactly what you took the oath to do. Furthermore, as President, you also pledged by the Oath that at all times you will dedicate yourself to the service and wellbeing of the people (connotes both citizens of Ghana wherever they are in the World and non-citizens including Aisha Huang, the notorious or alleged queen of Small Scale Miners thus implying other Nationals be Chinese or Nigerians nationals who are living within the territorial integrity of the Republic of Ghana, hence you must ensure the river or water given by God for domestic and other usage especially farming is very safe, no mining open pits left over as death traps.
So, to ensure the you the President act successfully Article 58 of the 1992 Constitution stipulated that the President of Ghana shall be the Head of State, Head of Government, Head of National Executive and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ghana (this connotes all armed elements or Agencies belonging to the State of Ghana thus including the Police, CEPs etc.).This clearly implies that, the President of Ghana has been given the resources for his role as the Defender, Champion, or Supporter of the 1992 Constitution at all times.
In order to operationalize the relevant requirements of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana especially to ensure or instil sense of patriotism or loyalty to the State, the Constitution has therefore occasioned that the President of Ghana working with Parliament or in consultation or the Advice of some Constitutional bodies shall be the appointing Authority for Administrative and Political National Executives including the Chief Justice, Auditor-General, EC Chairperson, Chairpersons for CHRAJ, NCCE, IGP, CDS, Service Commanders or Chiefs, Ministers of State, Ambassadors among others to support him to carry his or her presidential or executive duties. The President of Ghana also draw support from the Academia (especially on researches) as well as from NGOs/CSOs and the International Communities within Ghana and Foreign Countries and Agencies.
Mr Presidents, it is due to the availabilities of the above resources and other resources provided by a Presidential System of Government, gave the saying that the buck stops with the President. Consequently, one can say that the President of Ghana can do everything except changing a woman into a man or like what you said on the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, you as the President of Ghana can revive a dead economy but not a dead person.
So, it is therefore mind boggling and unacceptable that all the Heads of State of Ghana of the Fourth Republic as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ghana have woefully failed to manage very well the economy especially funds and the Land and Natural Resources of this great nation. Hence, it is very perplexing that the President of Ghana failed to deal with the menace associated in the Small Scale Mining Sector. Hence need to check the History of SSM for a better approach to reduce the menace to the barest minimum level.
Mr President, a study of the history and a proper diagnoses of the menace in the Small Scale Mining Sector will tell that with the exception of the regime of the late Ex-President JJ Rawlings, the other regimes in the Fourth Republic especially the regime of ex-President JA Kofour failed this great nation considerably. As the saying goes the buck stop with the President, so let me say that the past Presidents of Ghana and you as the current President’s inability to reduce the associated risks of SSM to the barest minimum like what the late Ex-President JJ Rawlings did was because of the lack of understanding the characteristics of Small Scale Mining or what is Small Scale Mining by the past and current Presidents of Ghana coupled with massive corruption or greediness by the Ghanaians including State Officials and our normal incompetency cannot be ruled out.
.Mr President, history will tell you that, the PNDC and NDC regime of the late Papa J regularized or legalized and initiated formalization process for Galamsey by the passage of the Small Scale Mining Law Section 77 of the Minerals and Mining Law 1986 (PNDC153) and later the Small Scale Gold Mining Law 1989 (PNDCL218) which was a Galamsey Law. So,, the small scale gold mining laws 1989 (218) passed by the PNDC as Galamsey Law never made provision or requirement for the restoration of the disturbed land/environment to almost the original state by backfilling, re-vegetation because the massive destruction of the environment was seen not possible by the miners or envisaged as a problem by PNDC because of the modus of manual operations by the Galamsey operators.
To arrest massive destruction of the environment, the PNDC prevented Small Scale Miners from using sophisticated equipment and no use of substantial amount and the operation was contingent or permissible if and only if it is in the interest of the Community, so the protection of the any Mining Site by folks was put on the direct hands of the affected Communities and their Leaders. Hence Power was handed over to the affected Communities to protect their environment, and the activity of SSM was monitored by District Mining Committees. The arrangement was such a way that, there was no way someone from Kumasi or Accra may able to operate in the Small Scale Mining Sector as his or her business without living within and known at the affected areas, aside working as a manual worker because SSM was then mainly Galamsey of dig and wash or done manually with pick axes and spade same mode by the Community folks as was done in pre-Ghana era (Gold Coast era).
It was in 1999, that the NDC regime of then President JJ Rawlings realized the destructive effect of small Scale Mining due to the introduction of mechanized mining equipment from Lebanon by ex-service personnel and travelers from China. So the NDC regime of Papa J came out with Environmental Assessment Regulations, 1999 (LI 1652) and regulations 23 and 24 of LI 1652 made it a mandatory that Small Scale Gold Miners must post reclamation bonds by the payment of the cost of restoring of the land into an escrow Account before both EPA and Minerals Commissions issue the operators with Operating permit for Small Scale Mining.
Enter, the era of President Kofour, Officials in his regime made a capital blunder when without proper risk analysis amalgamated all the Mining Laws into the Minerals Mining Law 2006 (Act703), and came out with ambiguous Small Scale Mining Law embedded as Section 81 to Section 99 of in the Minerals Mining Law 2006 (Act703).
It was done without proper thinking or thinking outside the box because it was silent so no clarity or isssues of limitations aside restricted to Ghanaians, thus deviated from the originated Small Scale Mining enacted by the PNDC which had clear limitations like it must only be allowed if and only if it was in the interest of the affected Community, no use of sophisticated equipment and no use of substantial amount therefore one may deduce that it was not for wealth creation but poverty alleviation project. Hence the limitations by the PNDC were enough measures to ensure no massive destruction of the environment. So, when the Officials in the era of President Kofour wanted to make Ghanaians to gain commanding heights in the Mining Sector, over 300 Ghanaians was sent to China to study mining and come and do business in Ghana in the Mining Sector, they failed to think of the possibility of fellow Ghanaian showing his true colours of fronting for foreigners since mining is capital intensive. ,
It was sad that the then State Officials in era of President Kofour failed to act on the intelligence relayed to Ghana from then BNI officials who went to China with the affected 300 Ghanaians, which indicated that most of the prospective Ghanaian miners made alliances with Chinese including Aisha Huang and others with capital (excavators, Trommels, funds etc) and invited them to come with the resources to Ghana to help them in mining. So the Chinese are victims of Ghanaian accomplices, the story of Shaanxi Mining Company in the Upper East and others speak volume.
Considering that Mining is a capital intensive project, the affected Officials in the era of President Kofour woefully failed the State of Ghana by not acting or think outside the box very fast with the hot intelligence from the BNI Officials so that they put measures to check likely Chinese involvement in the Mining Sector through the affected Ghanaians fronting for the foreigners, which a fronting syndrome which is in our DNA or our usual brand, so that they act by including (a). Banning of sophisticated equipment like excavators and substantial money in the Small Scale Mining Sector, (b). Control and monitor the movement of excavators from China, (c) Create a new class as Medium Scale Mining with conditions like that for Large Scale Mining but only with minimum threshold say not less than GHC500,00.00 for the Ghanaians and not less than US$700,000.00 as minimum contribution by foreigners with the Company registered by the Ghanaian as majority shareholder and no way a Ghanaian partner will be overthrown as the majority owner.
Thus the requirements should below that for Large Scale Mining Companies for any collaboration for foreigners, for partnership with a Ghanaian to operate for mining for wealth creation in the proposed Medium Scale Mining Sector. This must also have very good local policy, posting of reclamation bond for restoration of mined out areas. (c). Restrict Small Scale Mining to the affected Communities only to operate as Cooperative or Community mining, with the operators to be provided with training in business and so that with time the State get the operators to stop Small Scale Mining and navigate them to Alternative Livelihood Projects as done by USAID in Ivory Coast, that is when they happen to get a seed capital to be used to start a new trade.
Shockingly, with time the State Officials sheepishly made the Chinese including Aisha Huang and others to be participant in the Small Scale Mining Sector as Support Services Providers for the prospective Ghanaian miners. Hence the invasion of the Small Scale Mining Sector with thousands of excavators, Cry my Beloved Country, what a tacit official endorsement of the usual fronting in business by Ghanaians for foreigners especially the Chinese.
Mr President this was the beginning of the irreparable destruction of the rivers of Ghana with some with the potential for mini-hydroelectricity projects, arable lands for food crop and cash crop like cocoa, So competition for fronting for the Chinese became the order of the day, hence more excavators and recruitment of more Chinese into the Small Scale Mining Sector. Our Authorities further sheepishly legalized the Support Services or operations of the Chinese (Aisha Huang and others) with Legislative Instrument as Minerals and Mining (Support Services) Regulations, 2012 (LI 2174) and now gave a tacit support for Aisha Huang and her fellow Chinese to move free to the affected mining areas for the completion of the destruction of the lands of Ghana to satisfy greedy inclinations.
Enter the 2021 Audit Report – The Auditor General physically study the history of SSM, including laws and regulations after which he interviewed and inspected mining sites of SSM to gather data on reclamation regulatory activities of Mineral Commission (MC) and EPA in the SSM sector from January 2016 to December 2020. His audit revealed that the EPA and Minerals Commission, have been negligent and incompetent between 1999 and 2022 to ensure the posting of reclamation bonds as decreed by Regulation 23 of the Environmental Assessment Regulations, 1999, which requires EPA to ensure that prospective small-scale miners post reclamation bonds in the form of cash into an escrow account after the approval of reclamation plan before Final Operating permits were/are issued. No Escrow account was opened, or the Auditor General did find a pesewas paid to the State between 1999 and 2021 at the time of his risk assessment or risk survey.
The massive degraded land or environment is therefore the causal effect of irresponsible mining by the Small Scale Miners occasioned by a very ambiguous or bad small scale mining sector created by the Minerals and Mining Law 2006 (Act 703) at section 81 to 99, which due to it silent nature was exploited by the Small Scale Miners to use sophisticated equipment especially Excavators with one miner found to own over 100 excavators on his small Scale Mining site. Hmm, He alone had 100 excavators which was/is more than the total number of 40 Excavators owned or used by all the large Scale Mining Companies under the Ghana Chamber of Mines. Cry the Beloved Country.
So, Thanks to the Almighty God and to you, President Nana Addo for giving this Country, the best Auditor General in our time or since the inception of the fourth Republic, in the person of Mr Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu. Mr Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu has done a very good job for Ghana with his risk assessment on the Small Scale Mining with good recommendations, besides the usual Audit reports. His report covered some financial statements from 2009 (outstanding issues of the Divesture Implementation Committee now absorbed by SIGA and other issues) up to 2021.
Mr President, Mr Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu, is hereby nominated as the best Auditor General of our time because as stated he prepared and submitted a very comprehensive 2021 Audit report to include outstanding issues as well as risk assessment of Small Scale Mining. For the first time, an Audit report was made to cover 258 Districts Assemblies out of the current number of 260 Districts Assemblies. So, he made a disclaimer on the affected two District Assemblies for not submitting their Financial States to his Office. Instead of less than 100 of other Agencies normally covered in previous audit reports, the 2021 Audit Report covered more than 200 Institutions made up of Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDA), Educations intuitions, all the Boards, Companies and Corporations, the Judiciary, defunct Divesture Implementation Committee now SIGA, CHARJ, Electoral Commission etc. This excellent auditing work made him to discover the accreditations infractions some of the Universities for so many years. He also recovered over GHC100 Millions for the State through disallowance process.
It was therefore unfortunate and very disturbing that some CSOs upon the publication of the 2021 Audit Report attempted to pressurize the Auditor General to execute his powers of disallowing and Surcharge as required in subsection (b) of section (7) of Article 187 of the 1992 Constitution. The Citizenry must appreciate that an Audit report by an auditor is simply a risk report which deals with three essential issues among others these are (a). The substance that is the resources (cash/Assets) involved in the risk assessment or the audit, (b) whether the Management involved say the (Handlers have adhered to or otherwise to any laid down procedure (regulations/rules covering the treatment (action or handling) of the resources and (c) outcome of the matter under audit. Also the law requires that the very sum so specified by the Auditor-General to be due from any person shall be paid by that person to the department or institution as the case may be, within 60 days after it has been so specified and any person aggrieved by a disallowance or surcharge made by the Auditor-General may appeal to the High Court not later than the expiration of the period of 60 days as prescribed by law. Hence it is not easy to recover disallowed sums within a short time before proclaiming the Audit Report or submitting to Parliament.
So, Mr President, the media and some of the citizenry especially some respected seasoned lawyers and Professors/Intelligentsias need to be informed and are hereby informed that no Auditor General in the Fourth Republic, has been so diligent, competent, patriotic, constitutional or lawful like Mr Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu, so his performance is the best so far. It is therefore very unfortunate that instead of taking time to read or learn about the very good work of Mr Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu, as the Auditor General, some Citizens attempted to taint his reputation by comparing him with Auditor Generals whose performances are below that of Mr Asiedu’s.
Occupied Ghana must be thanked for their action that made the Supreme Court to give an interpretation of subsection (b) of section (7) of Article 187 of the 1992 Constitution that is on the need to disallow of any item of expenditure and surcharge as stipulated. But, it must be noted that the Affected Departments/the Governing Boards of the affected Agencies also have crucial role to ensure to Surcharge persons etc or recover relevant cash irregularities from affected persons or Agencies when the audit report is published.
It should also be made clear to all that the Constitution is very clear with the process of auditing by the Auditor General especially why, how, and when the final Audit Report must be submitted to Parliament, that is within six months after the end of the immediately preceding financial year, thus the submission to Parliament must done before the total execution of disallowances by surcharge, done per a sequential arrangement and not necessary before submission to Parliament or concurrently. Hence, the time given is very short for the external auditors used by the Auditor General audit the accounts to recover all disallowed expenditures during the process of auditing and also the requirement that an affected person has up to 60 days to pay or go to Court to challenge create some initial problem due to likelihood of several adjournments by Courts. Hence time consuming.
Thus the various auditors used by the Auditor General are not required or expected to fully act on their findings and recommendations before submitting to the Auditor General who will check and submit same to Parliament and proclaim the ‘ of the Audit Report to the Public and take time to act on issues raised after studying the Audit report. So the Citizenry must not rush to pressurize the Auditor General on issues of an audit report for Parliament’s attention without taking time to read it and understand the way the report was made (the difficulties faced by the Auditor General, how he solved some of them and statement on his future intention on the Audit report.
So, a study of the 2021 Audit Report will tell that due to the number of institutions under coverage and the limited time available, some competent private audit firms were used as External Auditors with their responsibilities include (a).Performing audits on systems, operations and accounts through inspecting financial statements to Report systematic errors or misstatements or fraud indicators, (b) Submit findings and recommendation in the Audit Report to the Auditor General for a final Audit Report to the Risk Owner. So, the Auditor General, (Mr Asiedu) did state in the Report that he will take time to review the Audit Report and act as appropriate with a Surcharge Review Committee to retrieve unaccountable expenditure or stolen monies and or assets or cancel the findings/recommendations deem fit. So, the action of the Civil Society Organizations was tantamount to premature ejaculation.
It appeared, they were fooled by some Agenda setting media and others hijacked by some persons with hidden agenda, who wanted to satisfy their paymasters, otherwise I am afraid but I have to say that their actions without first reading the report and consider the demands of the Constitutions could be described as close to that of educated illiterates. Hence, the citizenry need to be schooled to be patriotic and consider Ghana First, so we the Citizenry need to be honest, professional, disciplined, and patriotic by taking time to read into issues from/in the main source before making an informed opinion and disclosing our frustrations on sensitive matters. Some of them went further to threat the Auditor General he could face jail sentences for failing to comply with directive of the Supreme Court, which is not true.
Section (7) (a) of the 1992 Constitution is very clear that the Auditor General in the performance of his functions under this Constitution shall (must) not be subject to the direction or control of any person or Authority, hence the Supreme Court has no locus to order him aside the interpretation to him . So the Supreme of Ghana only interpreted Section (7) (b) of a 1992 Constitution by explaining or reminding the Auditor General on matters on surcharging of the disallowances but when and how it should be done is determined by both Parliament and or the Auditor General . So, it must be made clear that the Supreme Court of Ghana in their interpretation of the relevant provisions of the 1992 Constitution never arrogated to itself the power to direct the Auditor General. If the Supreme Court of Ghana really did so then it was unconstitutional/superfluous.
Mr President it is very disheartened when you hear from educated persons saying something about the cash irregularities as if all irregularities as covered in the Audit Report were/are sins. The public must be educated that Irregularities will continue to be part of the life of Companies like say VRA/GREDCO/ ECG due to Customers like the Government not able to pay on time for power sold on credit per the postpaid metering system, hence prepaid meter can help arrest this problem of an accumulated debt. It also sad when you hear some learned and experience lawyers or members of the CSOs demonstrating their ignorance by not understanding the reasons that may make Country opt for IMF support.
The matter Ghana is simple Ghana opted for IMF bailout because of no sufficient foreign reserves or foreign currencies or dollars to pay foreign loans due for payment and meet imports and which outmarch the export. Otherwise Ghana unlike some of her neighbours countries opted for the free currency market known as Fiat money so the government can print cash that is not backed by a physical commodity, such as gold or silver to fix or stabilize the Cedis or Standardize it like what has been done with the CFA hence nothing prevents the Government through Parliamentary approval to get the Bank of Ghana to print more Ghana Cedis Ghana. It should be noted that the fiat money system was introduced in the 1980s as part of the Economy Reforms era, the era which saw the stoppage of the Standard system through fixing our currency with gold as was done by the regime of the late General Acheampong.
The CSOs also attributed the total irregularities of GHC17.5 Billion to act of corruption/theft and ran amok with it as if to please their paymasters an act which could damage the image of Ghana. So, the State or patriotic citizens, need to counter this display of ignorance otherwise deceit, dishonest unpatriotic attitude by persons who should know better.
So Mr President, the state of affairs surrounding the total irregularity of the GHC17.2 Billion in the 2021 Audit Report covers a period between 2009 and 2021 thus it includes debts of the Divesture Implementation Committee (which became SIGA in your Administration). The debt included that of the defunct State Gold Mining Corporation which may have interest in the Prestea Underground Mine, debts or otherwise other cost. Also debts of defunct State Food Distribution Corporation/Defunct State Farms Corporation, Defunct Ghana Airways, defunct Ghana International Airways, ex-Bonsa Tyres Factory, SCC, ex-Abosso Glass Factory, ex-State Fishing Corporation, defunct State Farms Corporation all under Divesture Implementation Committee which still have assets like Silos and Warehouses. These debt is more than GHC5Million.
Also the public need to be informed that GH¢6,043,083,274.01 (that is GHC6.04Billion) out of the reported irregularities of GHC17.5 Billion were credit power sales to customer of VRA and NEDCo. Over GHC6Billion was also detected as cash over ran by almost all the MMDAs, MDAs etc including CHRAJ which has over spend with about GHC400Million Ghana Cedis against Compensation and Goods and Services. It was therefore sad that the Chairman for CHRAJ was also found speaking on the colossal amount of GHC17.5 Billion as due to corrupt actions, failing to note that his Agency like EOCO incurred huge cost overrun as well.
There was also a debt of over GHC2Billion of some of our Embassies plus that of ECG/VRA with some amount quoted in US Dollars and Euros but converted into Ghana Cedis at the rate at the time of the Audit, thus ballooning the value in Ghana Cedis. There was a debt of over GHC700,000.00 being balance due to State Housing Company for houses at Bortyman Accra bought in 2016 by some people including a highly placed political party office holder. There was an amount which was also part of the irregularities which was reportedly incurred by a Coordinator Director of a District Assembly who was made by the Assembly to lodge at hotel due no official accommodation or rental place for him, so he exceeded the financial policy of not permissible for a continuous stay in hotel for over 90days thus recognized as irregularity. This speaks volume of the seemingly unpatriotic and dishonest attitudes of some of the Citizens.
I do not think the aim of some the respected lawyers and intelligentsia is to spoil the image of your Administration thus affecting the image of the Country to satisfy any paymaster but their refusal to do so gives different meaning, so it is recommended that they must ensure to be honest, disciplined and patriotic and think of Ghana First at all times
MAJOR MOHAMMED BOGOBIRI (RTD)