Felix Kwakye Ofosu, a former Deputy Minister of Communications has dared the Akufo-Addo-led government to reduce salaries of his appointees just as ex-president John Mahama did in order to complete the Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHIPS) compounds project around the country.
According to him, there is still a backlog of debt to pay the contractors who executed most of the completed projects.
Therefore, to the extent that the NDC government is out of office, appointees of the new government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) must follow the example of the Mahama administration by sacrificing some percentage of their salaries towards completion of the projects.
Mr Kwakye Ofosu threw the challenge to the government while providing explanation about what the 10% pay cut accruals of the Mahama administration was used for following media reports that it could not be accounted for by the Controller and Accountant General.
He told Moro Awudu, host of the Executive Breakfast Show (EBS) on Class 91.3FM on Thursday August 10 that: “As of December 2016 6 of the CHIPS compounds had been competed, 5 were nearing completion and 1 was at foundation stage.
“The total contract sum was GHS 2, 549,112.76 which meant that there was deficit of about 400,000 to pay to the contractors who had executed the job.
“Of course we had hoped that we will continue to be in government so that we will be able to raise that money to complete all the projects but perhaps the president will impress upon its appointees to make the same sacrifice that we made.”
On Wednesday, 9 August, the Deputy Controller and Accountant General Kwesi Owusu told the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament that the money cannot be traced.
Mr Owusu said: “…As to what they have done with the money that one is not an area for us to answer because it was not statutory deductions which we should have taken and then say pay to SSNIT or pay to GRA. This one was a voluntary deduction so when you deduct, you give it to the one who asked you to deduct on his behalf.”
But Mr Kwakye Ofosu further explained that: “A total of GHS2,190,718.30 had been deducted as of the end of December,2016. A total of GHS 2,130,718.30 had been paid to contractors who had either completed or were working on the CHPS compounds. Regarding the CHPS compounds themselves, a total of five had been completed at Gympokrom and Kwame Prakrom in the Upper Denkyira East District, Ada East in Greater Accra, Nkwanta Number 1 & 2 in the Western Region and Abontonso in the Afram Plains North District of the Eastern Region.
“Another five were almost completed at Faso Bator and Supon in the Afram Plains North District as well as Dome, Gadokope and Samankwe in the Afram Plains South District.
“Another one was nearing completion at Tetegu Old Town in the Greater Accra Region. The last one was at foundation level at Ho Zongo as of the time we were leaving office,” he added.
He, therefore, disputed assertions that the money cannot be traced. “Any claim, therefore, that the monies so deducted cannot be accounted for, is most misleading and inaccurate.”