General News of Monday, 7 January 2019
Waste Management Company, Zoomlion Ghana Limited, has said it is already in court over allegations made against it in a recent Auditor-General’s report.
The Auditor-General served notices to Zoomlion, some three former National health Insurance Authority Chief Executives, as well as the current one, ordering them to refund an amount of over GHc400 million following revelations of wrongful payments made to the waste management giant during their respective tenures.
Director of Communications and Corporate Affairs at Zoomlion, Emma Akyea-Boakye in a Citi News interview said they are in court because they disagree with the Auditor-Generals decision against them in the report.
“Yes, we have knowledge of that report. We have read through it, we appreciate what is in there, but we disagree with the decision of the statement. And so for further actions we have appealed to the court and we are waiting for the court to decide. And so we will wait until the court decides,” Emma Akyea-Boakye added.
The current head and three former Chief Executive Officer (CEOs) of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) and Zoomlion, have been ordered to refund a total amount of GHc411, 433, 086 following revelations of wrongful payments made to the waste management company during their respective tenures.
In separate letters to the four; Sylvester Mensah, Ras Boateng, Samuel Annor and Nathaniel Otoo, the Auditor General, Daniel Domelevo stated that after an audit into the accounts of the NHIA for the period from January 2007 to April 2018, the financial infractions were noted, prompting the surcharges and ultimatum.
According to the audit, the NHIA, under the tenure of Sylvester Mensah, is said to have made a payment of GH?111,401,650 to Zoomlion without following due processes.
The payment which was authorized by Mr Mensah and the former DCE in charge of Finance & Investment of the Authority at the time, Alex Nartey from, June 2009 to May 2015, is contrary to Regulation 39 of Financial Administration, Regulations L.I. 1802.
The two persons, along with Zoomlion were surcharged an amount of GH?202,013,257 and are to refund a total amount of GH?313,414,907.09.
The NHIA CEO from 2015 to 2017, Nathaniel Otoo, along with Mr Nartey and Zoomlion, has also been asked to refund an amount of GH?66,918,032 after the payment of GH?47,000,000 was made to Zoomlion without due procedure.
Ras Boateng, who was CEO of NHIA from 2007 to 2009 was also surcharged an amount of GH?583,000 along with Zoomlion after payments of GH?5,500,000 were made to the waste management company without recourse to due processes.
The two parties are now to refund a total amount of GH?6,083,000 into the Consolidated Fund within 14 days.
Samuel Annor, who has served as NHIA CEO since March 2017, Francis Owusu, then DCE in charge of Finance & Investment and Zoomlion were ordered to refund an amount of GH?25,017,147.21.
This is after the audit revealed that wrongful payments of GH?21,000,000 were made to the waste management company.
All surcharged parties were directed to make the payments within 14 days of receiving the notice and to produce proof of payment on a Treasury Counterfoil Receipt (TCR), to the Legal Unit of the Ghana Audit Service.
The note from the Auditor General added that if the monies are not paid before the deadline civil proceedings will be commenced to recover the amount from those surcharged.
Health Ministry responsible for over 400m payments to Zoomlion, not NHIA – Sly
Former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Sylvester Mensah, has denied assertions that the Authority under his tenure made payments to waste management company, Zoomlion without following due processes.
According to him, all payments made by the Authority are authorised by the Ministry of Health, which also supervises the release of the monies to the recipients.
“All payments for MOH’s contractual obligations for which provision has been made in the NHIA budget is paid against specific request by the Minister of Health/Ministerial directive on the specific work performed and ascertained by MOH.”
“Supervision of work for such payments rests with the MOH and not NHIA. This is why the specific requests are made by the Minister for Health.”