The state might have lost close to GHc50 billion from 2008 to 2014 through misappropriation of funds at various state agencies, Financial Analyst, Sydney Casely Hayford has estimated.
Mr. Casely Hayford made the statement while commenting on the Supreme Court’s judgement on Pressure Group, Occupy Ghana’s suit filed against the Auditor General.
Mr. Casely Hayford, who is also a convener for Occupy Ghana , indicated that a “mid time calculation starting from 2008 to 2014 estimated that about 45 to 50 billion cedis had been taken by individuals.” The Supreme Court on Wednesday, ordered the Auditor General to, with immediate effect, begin surcharging persons found to have misappropriated monies belonging to the state.
The court’s order followed a suit filed by Occupy Ghana in June 2016, seeking an order directing the Auditor-General to issue disallowances and surcharges to and in respect of all persons and entities found in relevant, successive reports to have engaged in misappropriation of state funds.
Occupy Ghana had explained that it sued the Auditor General for refusing to surcharge persons who are said to have misappropriated state funds to the tune of over GHc40 billion.
Speaking on Citi FM’s News Analysis Programme, The Big Issue, Mr. Casely Hayford indicated that “everybody believed to have committed an infraction sizeable enough” will be prosecuted.since the case is “such an important part in the development of anti-corruption .”
“The significant point is that so many people have benefited from the laxity in the system and taken what is not theirs at the expense of national development and it is important that we haul these people before courts and really test the system,” Casely Hayford added.
He however admitted that there will be challenges in prosecuting corrupt officials since “the Auditor General does not have the human resources and the logistical resources to be able to get things done.” “The Attorney General who is the main prosecutor now has to find the persons and the bodies to assist in getting these things through the court rapidly and the judicial system itself is going to be challenged to do that effectively.”
A number of corruption scandals which involved public officials and private companies benefiting from state monies for less or no work done have been recorded in the country in the last few years .
Some of these scandals include the monies lost to Subah Info Solutions deal, the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Agency (GYEEDA, the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) and the GHc3.6 million bus branding saga.