By Cecil Mensah
The Controller and Accountant General, is courting massive trouble for the government of President John Dramani Mahama, and has already succeeded in making it very unpopular among contractors, working on various government projects, as well as those providing variety of services.
The selective release of funds on the part of the Controller and Accountants General, Madam Grace Francisca Adzroe, to her highly favoured persons working on government projects across the country, is fast becoming the complaints among contractors and service providers.
Indeed, The Herald, can report that last week rumours that Finance Minister, Seth Emmanuel Terkper, had been sacked by President Mahama, is a fallout of the conducts of the Controller and Accountant General, Madam Adzroe, in choosing her preferred individuals to pay, instead of devising a formula to pay those who were awarded the job and had completed work.
The excuse normally churned out from the officials of the Controller and Accountants General’s Department (CAGD), including Madam Adzroe, is that a prepared list comes from the Office of the President; Flagstaff House to settle debts owed certain contractors, regardless of when they were awarded a project or whether these projects had been completed.
The second excuse is the misuse of the name of the First Lady, Lordina Mahama. It is claimed by the CAGD that, the President’s wife, has been instructing Madam Adzroe via phone calls as to whom and who, should be paid.
The Herald, is informed that at Madam Adzroe’s office, are certificates dating as far back as 2012 and 2013 from contractors and service providers for payment, but they are confronted with these excuses anytime they trek to the office to demand the payment of debts owed them.
“It is no longer exciting to work for government anymore. Your money is detained sometimes for over two years, and banks are chasing you all over for loans contracted from them. The interests is also accruing by the day”, one sad-looking contractor recently told The Herald in a private chart.
The delays in payment, The Herald was told, have stalled projects embarked upon by the government since 2012.
Some of the contractors told The Herald that since 2012, they have been trekking the corridors of the Ministry of Finance, only to be informed that the moneys have been released to the CAGD for payment.
Recently some other contractors also told The Herald, how they were told that the monies have been used to pay some selected contractors on the orders of the Flagstaff House, specifically the Chief of Staff, Julies Debrah.
This was after they had been informed by the Finance Ministry that, nearly GH¢20 million, has been released to the Controller and Accountant General for payment.
Some of their colleagues, were also told that the money had been exhausted on some selected contractors upon the orders of the First Lady, Madam Lordina Mahama.
But The Heralds checks proved that these claims are not true, as both high level officials have denied ever issuing such instructions to CAGD.
Rather, the Controller and Accountants General, select her preferred contractors to pay.
Most of the Contractors she has paid were those she personally awarded contracts recently to, hence snubbing the list of contractors owed by the government since 2012.
Another interesting thing at the Controller and Accountants General’s Department, The Herald learnt is that, Madam Adzroe’s third criteria for making payment to the contractors and service providers, is to leave out contractors awarded jobs under the reign of her predecessor, one Mr. Tuffuor.
The indebted contractors, are complaining about how lack of funds is stalling their projects and also leading to the loss of their workforce, because they can’t pay salaries. In their opinion, Madam Adzroe, should be made to be reasonable in ensuring payment is done across board, but picking and choosing her preferred candidates, will continue to make government unpopular.
They suggested to the government to consider developing a payment plan which is based on percentage of work done. To them, this could be used to keep them in business, reduce their indebtedness to the banks, as well as make their workers happy.
They insisted that, it was the attitude of Madam Adzroe that strengthened the rumour last week among contractors that the Finance Minister, has been sacked by President Mahama, forcing a hand full of them to jubilate.
Two of the contractors who looked angry, said they have had sleepless nights, agreed with the phrase “government contracts are no longer attractive” and that they would not go for government contracts, even when it is thrown at them on silver platter.
Meanwhile, The Herald is informed that Madam Adzroe, who had attained her retiring age of 60, had had her engagement twice extended by way of a contract.
Some CAGD workers and the contractors, believe she is behaving in this manner to make some money to enjoy in her retirement when she is finally sent home.