Isaac Asiamah The Minority New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Parliament has called on the government to endeavour to retrieve all the GH¢1.5 billion of taxpayers' money lost through corruption and misappropriation under the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA).
The party stressed that the money must come with its accumulated interests to finance the newly-created Ghana Youth Employment Agency which is going to be backed by the Youth Employment Agency Bill currently before parliament.
According to the minority, it would be unfair and dishonest for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government to let those 'stolen' funds lie waste while another whopping GH¢578 million of taxpayers' money had been budgeted for the funding of the Ghana Youth Employment Agency next year.
The minority made the call at a press conference in Accra yesterday.
“If we have not retrieved all these huge sums of money diverted into private pockets under GYEEDA, how can the government create another youth employment agency and budget GH¢578 million for it?” the minority spokesperson on Youth, Sports and Culture, Isaac Asiamah questioned at the press conference, stressing that the creation of the agency would be another 'create, loot and share' by this insensitive NDC government.
The minority also advised the government not to rush in pushing through the Youth Employment Agency Bill because there were certain knotty areas to be well scrutinised and discussed otherwise public funds again would be thrown into the drain.
“Parliament has not even been briefed or made to discuss the government's White Paper on the Ministerial Impact Assessment Review Committee, let alone go ahead to pass this new bill,” Isaac Asiamah, MP for Atwima Mponua, said
According to the minority, there were certain damning revelations by the White Paper and the government ought to take legal steps to retrieve the huge monies misappropriated by AGAMS Group and Asongtaba as well as Zoomlion.
The deputy minority leader, Domonic Nitiwul, said huge state money given to Asongtaba to train 32,000 youth in hairdressing, smock making, tie and dye, auto mechanic, guinea fowl rearing, soap making and carpentry in December, 2009 which according to him, never took place, must be retrieved to support the new programme.
“Ladies and Gentlemen of the press, we are talking about only GYEEDA which the report has revealed such magnitude of malfeasance taking place, but the report did not look at the Local Enterprise and Skills Development Agency (LESDEP), ZOIL company, the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology where millions of laptops were procured under GETFund for some 'unknown' teachers as well as other such modules which we can say the rot could run into over GH¢3 billion,” he said.
To ensure accountability and transparency, the minority asked the government to direct the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice to prosecute all culprits who are walking free men after getting these 'dubious' contracts in contravention of the Procurement Act and Financial Administration Act of the country.
The government was also tasked to publish the financial statement of GYEEDA, urging that the accounts of all individuals and companies involved in these rots should be frozen.
By Thomas Fosu Jnr