Asuogyaman DCE blows GH¢92,618 to renovate DCD’s residence

The budgeted amount of Fifty Thousand Ghana Cedis (GH₵50,000.00) was exceeded to an amount of Ninety-Two Thousand, Six Hundred Ghana Cedis (GH₵92,600.00) which I found it unacceptable considering painting component amounting to Thirteen Thousand Ghana cedis (GH₵13,000.00) of four bedrooms.

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The Asuogyaman District Assembly in the Eastern Region has spent a whopping amount of GH¢92,618.00 to renovate a ‘four-bedroom house’ residence of the District Coordinating Director.

The amount which was approved for payment by the DCE for Asuogyaman, Samuel Kwame Agyekum in May this year, Awake News has learnt is one of the outrageous payments the immediate transferred District Finance Officer of the district, Mr. Bismark Okrah protected against.

In a letter written by Mr. Okrah as a response to a query sighted by Awake News revealed that Mr. Okrah explained that the said bungalow of the District Coordinating Director was renovated about three years ago and that it is not justifiable spending GH¢92,618.00 (GHc70,618 for renovation and GHc20,000 for finishing) on the project especially when the initial budget for the project if needed at all was GHc50,000 .

On the renovation work, I wish to state that the said bungalow was renovated three years back and that the need for renovating could not be that high (deviating from the initial amount that was budgeted for, even including that of the bungalow of the District Finance Officer)

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The budgeted amount of Fifty Thousand Ghana Cedis (GH₵50,000.00) was exceeded to an amount of Ninety-Two Thousand, Six Hundred Ghana Cedis (GH₵92,600.00) which I found it unacceptable considering painting component amounting to Thirteen Thousand Ghana cedis (GH₵13,000.00) of four bedrooms. As regards, I called on the district engineer for a review to reflect the representation so as to avoid audit queries that could put the name of the district into negative public accounting image..

Why was Mr. Okrah queried?

Upon receiving the request to pay the GH¢92,618.00, Mr. Okrah drew the attention of the District Cheif Executive and the District Coordinating Director, Mr. Kobla Joshua noting some lapses from the contract awarded for the renovation works and requested for some key documents including “Decision from the tender committee” on the project.

This request, Awake News has learnt did not go down well with the DCE hence queried the DFO why he is challenging his authority.

This stance of mine did not go well with my chief executive who summoned me and told me that my duty was to sign and further demanded how I could challenge his authority. He instantly called my Regional Director demanding that he finds it difficult to work with me and thus I should be removed from the district- a copy of Mr. Okrah’s query response said

The development has sparked anger among some Assembly members and supporters of the ruling New Patriotic Party in the area who believe the money spent on the house is outrageous and has since petitioned the Presiding Members of the Assembly and President Akufo-Addo respectively.

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Meanwhile, Awake News can confirm that the anti-corruption crusading Finance Officer, Mr. Okrah has been transferred from the District to the Eastern Regional Office of Controller and Accountant General, however, he has been denied office and got his salary frozen for the past two months.

Furthermore, my salary was frozen following the instruction of the regional director, which I thought was inhuman, wicked and inconceivable simply because I was executing my professional duties. Our leadership as district finance officers is expressed in financial results which I was trying to seek ways and means to increase revenue or reduce unnecessary cost which led to my transfer. I was just three months old in the district and I can say with confidence that my three months stay in the district, I was able to compile Eight thousand, seven hundred and fifty households (property rates) which were in arrears since 2015 ready for collection. I managed to add Adomi Bridge as a revenue generating area for the first time.

When the Regional Director of Controller and Accountant General was contacted by Awake News, he declined to comment saying Awake News should obtain permission from the Head office of Controller before he can speak on the matter.

Awake News has made several efforts to get Mr. Agyekum’s response on the issues but unsuccessful but Awake News has sighted a report by Starr News which, Mr. Kwame Agyekum said the issue is being investigated by the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO)

Stay tuned as we bring you more from the district.

Source: | Efo Korsi Senyo

kwabena Frimpong

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