The Public Interest and Accountability Commit
tee (PIAC) has referred a list of “ghost projects” purported to have been undertaken in the three regions of the North for further investigations after findings of inspections showed 50 percent of the projects funded from the Annual Budget Funding (ABFA) were “non-existent”.
The move follows the failure of the Ministry of Finance to supply explanations to PIAC on the projects in a letter dated August 4, 2016.
“In 2016, following the initial inspection of projects in the three regions of the north, PIAC wrote to the Ministry of Finance for explanation on the non-existent projects. The letter was dated 4th August, 2016. As we speak, the letter is yet to be acknowledged, let alone acted upon” the Report said.
It continued, “We are therefore compelled to compile a list of these ghost projects and refer them to the Auditor General for further investigations.”
The oil sector revenue watchdog said, it will ensure the necessary prosecutorial processes are triggered should any wrong doing be established.
According to PIAC, 50 percent of these projects showed signs of serious deterioration in less than three years after completion.
‘’A six-unit classroom block at Apedwa SDA Primary School in East Akim District of the Eastern Region, amongst others had begun to sink due to poor siting and shoddy work.’’
Dr. Steve Manteaw, Chairman of PIAC during a press briefing in Accra, Tuesday said interactions with citizens during district engagements in 2016 raised concerns as to whether PIAC verifies projects which have been reported to be undertaken with petroleum revenue by the Ministry of Finance.
He said this reinforced the conviction of the committee about the need for an expanded scale of these inspections.
‘’Consequently in 2017, forty ABFA funded projects were inspected in four regions, namely; Ashanti, Eastern, Greater Accra and Volta.’’
Manteaw however recommended that payment to contractors for certified work done should be made promptly to forestall cost over runs and ensure value for money on the projects.
Project selection should also be based on the sufficiency and availability of ABFA funds, Manteaw added.
He said the selection of projects to be executed in the districts should be aligned with the assemblies’ medium term development plans which incorporate the development needs of communities.
This he added, will ensure the selection of priority projects.
Manteaw said his outfit acknowledges the efforts of the Ministry of Planning to engage district planning officers in the monitoring and evaluation of ABFA funded projects.
He said it is the expectation of the committee that the exercise would help the Ministry of Finance to provide updates on oil funded projects.
By Mawuli Y. Ahorlumegah