Export Promotion Authority caught dishing out loans dubious entities …SSNIT contributions unpaid, rent loans unfunded

September 14, 2022

ghana Export Promotion Authority by Afua Asabea Asare

The management of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) under the Trade and Industry Ministry, has been indicted by the Auditor General, for granting loans to some unregistered companies and individuals to the tune of GH¢907,742.39 in contravention of the Exports loan policy.

According to the team of auditors, they “also realised that the Loan policy was not designed to minimise the risk of defaults in loan repayments”.

While, GEPA management led by Afua Asabea Asare, was punched for failing to make regular contributions on behalf of Contract workers to SSNIT during the years under review, leading to non-remittance of SSNIT contributions totalling GH¢517,520.16, the auditors also found that they granted loans to staff of the institution, amounting to GH¢34,926.69, which it has failed to retrieve.

In this regard, the 2021 report of the Auditor-General, urged the GEPA “management to ensure immediate recovery of the outstanding loans of GH¢907,742.39 granted to unregistered Companies and individuals failing which the authorizing officers should be held liable for any loss of funds.

The report, further asked that “management should also revise the Exports loan policy to include measures that would minimise defaults in loan repayments, including submission of financial documents.

“We noted that a total of GH¢59,252.50 granted to staff as rent and staff loan at the beginning of 2019 had an unpaid balance of GH¢34,926.69 as at December 2020. We recommended to Management to ensure that staff loans are recovered through deductions from the beneficiaries’ salaries by the Controller and Accountant General Department.

“We noted that Mr Kwadwo Adubo four, a former Deputy Director of the Authority was paid an unearned salary of GH¢36,462.00 for a period of ten (10) months. We recommended to Management to recover the salaries and allowances unduly paid to Mr. Kwadwo Adubofour and pay same to Government chest failing which the approving officers of the salary shall be held liable.

“Contrary to Article 23 (e) of the Collective Bargaining Agreement of the Authority, Management failed to deduct 10% rent from salaries of six (6) officers occupying the Authority’s bungalows situated at Sakumono, leading to outstanding rent fees of GH¢31,872.28 as at December 2020.

“We recommend to Management to recover all outstanding rent fees from the affected staff and evidence of payment submitted to our office for verification. Contrary to Section 63 (1) of the National Pensions Act, 2008 (Act 776), Management could not make regular contributions on behalf of Contract workers to SSNIT during the years under review, leading to non-remittance of SSNIT contributions totalling GH¢517,520.16.

We recommended to Management to immediately settle all outstanding SSNIT payments of all affected staff and ensure that monthly payments of statutory deductions are made within 14 days of the ensuing month to avoid penalties.

“We noted that Management did not bond two officers that were sponsored to undertake a one-year Executive Masters programme in Regional Integration and African Development at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA). We urged Management to bond Mr. Fred Omane Asante and Mrs. Nelley Spio-Abaidoo with immediate effect and ensure that copies of master’s degree certificates awarded to them are obtained.

“We noted during the review of asset management that the Authority has no title documents for the land where its official bungalows are situated at Sakumono, Accra. We recommended to Management to register all its lands and properties as soon as possible to avoid any unforeseeable litigations and possible encroachment of the lands.

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