The Controller & Accountant-General, Mr. Eugene Ofosuhene, Thursday, told the five-member Adhoc committee probing the alleged cash for seat saga that it was wrong for the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI) to have used their accounts to collect funds generated from the Ghana Expatriates Business Awards.
The funds realised from the Ghana Expatriate Business Awards organised by the Millennium Excellence Foundation (MEF), he noted, were private funds and shouldn’t have been deposited into the MoTI accounts, which is public.
To us that accounts should not be a receptacle for receipt of private revenues. It is solely an accounts opened to receive IGF of Ministry of Trade and Industry. But I think that probably because of the convenience of the relationship between the MEF and the Trade Ministry, they may have probably decided to have keep this money into the account and then take it out when they are ready for their expenses”, he noted.
Asked further whether the funds from the event which is a public-private partnership are private funds which does not qualify to be lodged into the accounts, Mr. Ofosuhene said “…errr because the sources of those funds and how these funds got in there … I think the MoU is clear. It says that through soliciting for funds. It is not a tax by way of levy. Monies collected under IGFs are sometimes are levy. You take your car to DVLA for inspection and whatever. You pay your levy that is an IGF or a non tax revenue. So you are given a service and you pay for the service. It is a source of revenue for the government. But soliciting funds for this event, these are not traditional sources of funds for government”.
Mr. Ofosuhene made this observation when he took his turn at the five-member Adhoc Committee to respond to questions relating to the alleged cash for seat saga.
His response was triggered by a question posed by a member of the committee, Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah as to whether the MoTI accounts opened with authorization from the Controller & Accountant-General should be used in receiving Public-Private Partnership funds.
The said MoTI accounts being operated with the National Investment Bank (NIB), according to the Controller & Accountant-General, is an existing accounts where all Internally Generated Funds (IGF) are deposited into.
Commenting further on the issue, Mr. Ofosuhene said per his last checks with MoTI’s Accountant, “whatever went into this accounts were taken out by way of payment for expenses. It was disbursed. By the time I spoke to the Accountant yesterday, there was only about GH₵299,000 balance left in that account.
Hitherto to the Controller and Accountant General’s appearance, the Trade Minister Alan Kyerematen had appeared before the Committee to indicate that the account created was to monitor the amount of money that was realized from the event.