Health Minister, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, has revealed that a 300 million pound loan contracted by the erstwhile Mahama administration to build seven hospitals across Ghana cannot be fully accounted for following an audit into how the funds were dispersed, ABC News can report.
The Health Minister in responding to the criticisms leveled against the NPP administration that the Akufo-Addo-led government had halted and or abandoned all ongoing infrastructure projects they inherited from the Mahama administration said government was forced to take the decision.
Explaining what happened, the Health Minister said government had no option than to halt all ongoing projects commenced under the Mahama administration when it was realised that there were a number of infractions with the disbursement of funds for the said projects.
Mr. Agyemang-Manu further revealed that under the leadership of former President Mahama, a 300 million pound loan contracted by the government from Britain to construct seven (7) hospitals across Ghana was misappropriated. Out of the seven hospitals, he said, the Ashanti region had a share of two hospitals. He continued that upon the NPP’s assumption of office in 2017, government launched an audit into the spending of the loan facility. It was uncovered that out of the seven hospitals, only one had been completed with the other six at various stages of completion.
The audit however revealed that the cost of the projects did not tally with the existing facilities on ground.
Speaking at the palace of the chief of Kumawu in the Ashanti Region, the minister disclosed that the remaining funds to complete the project was nowhere near enough to see them through.
He said a paltry 38 million pounds was all what was left to complete the six outstanding projects hence the need for the value for money audit.
“We realised 300 million pounds loan has been contracted to construct 7 hospitals in the country of which 2 were to be built in Ashanti Region. When we assumed office, our checks into the books revealed that only one has been completed at Dodowa. Kumawu was about 80% complete, Fomena was about 65% complete, Garu Tempane was about 3% complete among others. However, the amount of the loan left in the books to complete the other six projects was just 38 million pounds. This implied that the amount left is insufficient to complete the remaining projects. My ministry in consultation with the ministry of finance agreed to investigate the projects before the construction of these hospitals can be continued”, the minister explained.
Mr. Agyemang-Manu made it explicit that, after an investigation into the spending of the loan facility, it has been established that a chunk of the loan facility cannot be properly accounted for.
The minister stated that, “the investigation carried out has really established that some of the monies have been diverted. However, we have realised that if we only focus on finding the whereabout of the money, we will enter another election year without continuing with the halted projects.”
He disclosed that irrespective of the current situation, the government, through his ministry, has resolved to continue with the halted projects while investigations continue.