The Minority in Parliament, has said some GH¢207million of GH¢508 million earmarked for de-risking One District-One Factory loans, cannot be accounted for, but Michael Okyere Baafi, the Deputy Trade and Industry Minister, has rejected the claim.
The Herald’s independent sources, have, however, told the paper that some foreigners, especially Indians collected these monies as loans to set up factories, but changed the money into dollars and fled the country.
The situation has been described as a major headache for the Akufo-Addo government which would rather want the matter not mentioned.
According to the Minority, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, which is in charge of the proramme, said GHS2.69 billion in loans, has been given to the 1D1F programme.
The said amount is the interest subsidies for beneficiaries under the “One District One Factory” policy.
Ellembelle MP, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, told journalists that “we are asking the ministry that we will need the names of the banks and the names of each of the companies, as well as the amount each and every company has taken”.
“Initially, the ministry said it will take some time for them to get these documents”.
“They dragged it and finally they brought us the list of the banks with the names of the companies and the amounts”.
“We insisted that without that we will not approve their budget,” he explained.
He added: “We finally got that report this morning. Unfortunately, the ministry was unable to account out of the GHS269 million loans given to the banks”.
“The ministry was only able to account for GHS62, 281,484.29 million; what it means is that a total amount of GHS207, 407, 899, has not been accounted for. In other words, that amount, as far as we are concerned, is missing”.
“It is important that the press and the people of Ghana, take interest in this matter, and the minister at the helm of affairs, the Hon. Alan Kyerematen, must come clean to the people of Ghana to explain where the amount of GH¢207, 407, 899, to basically de-risk these loans to One District-One Factory is.”
But Michael Okyere Baafi, the Deputy Trade and Industry Minister, in an interview with Joy News, indicated the Minority are being mischievous and are peddling falsehood.
“When we attended the Committee meeting, they requested of us to submit to them an item-by-item list of subsidies we have paid as a government to these beneficiary companies.
“We told them we had the documentation, and we even presented it to them when we met them on Wednesday and they asked us to submit it officially which we did. I don’t know where they are getting those figures from. Their interest is just to play mischief,” he explained.
The Minister added, “there is no money missing and these are facts that can be checked and verified. These 1D1F companies that are operational are about 106 companies, and everybody can go out there and check, we don’t have anything to hide.”
The Minority, had accused the Ministry that out of the GH¢269 million disbursed, only GH¢62 million, has been accounted for, leaving a shortfall of over GH¢200 million.
Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, had explained that, despite queries to the Ministry, the Minister could not provide answers to their nagging questions.
He noted, the Akufo-Addo led administration agreed to absorb 10percent of the 20percent interest charged on loans to IDIF companies as subsidies.
Page 11, of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) 2022-2025 for the Ministry of Trade and Industry, states that in 2021, the number of Participating Financial Institutions (PFIS) increased from 13 to 15 and a total of GH¢2.69 billion was granted as loans to finance the IDIF projects/companies.
Out of this, GH¢269 million has been disbursed by the government as interest subsidy payment support to de-risk PFI’s loans to IDIF companies.
Explaining further, the MP said, “at the 2022 Budget Committee meeting with the Ministry, the Minister confirmed that GH¢269 million has been disbursed as interest subsidy to beneficiary 1D1F companies.
The Committee demanded details of the beneficiary companies, but the Ministry submitted a list of beneficiary companies and subsidies disbursed totalling GH¢62,281,484 29, instead of GH¢269,689,383.75, exposing a shortfall of GH¢207,407,899.46.
“The question then to ask Mr Alan Kyeremanten, is where is the whooping difference of GH¢207,407,899.467. Clearly, the Minister has some questions to answer.”