NPP MPs blow GHC 460,000 on phantom projects

The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) Members of Parliament for Okere and Akropong in the Akuapim North District in the Eastern Region, Dan Botwe and Ofori Boafo have been caught in the eye of a brewing storm for blowing a whopping GHC 460, 215 from their MPs Common Funds and yet there is no single projects in their constituencies to show for the amount.

Every year, Municipal and District Assemblies are obliged to to make provisions in their annual budgets for MPs. In 2015 financial year, Dan Botwe and Hon. Boafo were allocated GHC 280,000 as their MPs Common Fund, but as at December 2015, the duo have over spent their allocation by an additional GHC 400,000 bringing their total expenditure to over GHC740,000 that year.

This extra expenditure was made without any supplementary budget from the two embattled MPs and their districts have complained that nothing can be shown for the massive expenses claimed by the MPs.

Information available to this paper indicates that this was found out by the Finance and Administrative sub-committee of Okere and Akuapim North where the two MPs were promptly summoned on Wednesday June 22, 2016 to explain their curious expenditure.
A report prepared by the Finance and Adminitrative sub-committee explained that when the two were invited Hon. Dan Botwe “…admitted that as a member of leadership of Parliament, he does lobby for additional funds from government to augment projects that have been earmarked in the Assembly’s annual budget and at times get more of such assistance than expected. He insisted that monies allocated to MPs are their monies and in his case always insist the Municipal Engineer to execute all of his projects using his share of the Common Fund through direct labour…”

It is believed that this explanation did not exactly excite the chairman of the sub-committee, R.G Ansah-Appiah who drew his attention to the financial control section of the Financial Memoranda of the Assemblies.

Dan Botwe was accused of not allowing his projects to go through the necessary tendering processes as demanded by the Procurement Act which restricts the threshold of direct labooir to GHC 20,000.

Meanwhile, after arguing his case with the sub-committee, Dan Botwe failed to pinpoint the said projects he had undertaken in his district and their costs.
The two MPs who were grilled could not trace the projects they purportedly undertook at a cost of almost GHC 1 million, sparking anger among executives of the Distric Assembly, this paper gathered.

Credit: The Citizens Mail

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