Chairman of Internal Audit Agency, Joseph Winful is of the view that the 2020 Auditor-General’s report found several discrepancies because the institutions cited are not being led by the right individuals.
Speaking with host, Aisha Ibrahim on PM Express, he noted that persons who have been appointed to head these institutions are not different from those in the public sector, however, the private sector is not confronted with such challenges.
“Why do we have Ghanaians in the private sector who are doing so well or making the organization do so well. All that we are talking about, the ECG, and the rest of them are commercial entities. Compare them to the private sector entities. Is it the same? And they are headed by the same Ghanaians so what is happening?”
He, therefore, drew the conclusion that “we do not have the right leaders heading these institutions and as a result, they have also not ensured that they will have the right lieutenants who will support them to take the necessary steps that will ensure that those institutions are doing so well.
“What is being stated by the Auditor-General will not be acceptable in the private sector.”
The audit report from the Auditor-General disclosed that 28 Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) have defaulted in the payment of taxes between July 2018 and December 2019.
The 28 OMCs owed GRA-Customs Division an amount of ¢226,942,904.00 as taxes on petroleum from the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR).
Also, the report revealed that the Electricity Company of Ghana lost 2,649.08 GWh, which represents 24.30% of the power purchased from the power-producing companies, to system losses and incurred expenses to the tune of ¢182,576,235.15 as a capacity charge by Cenit Energy for the 12 months in 2018.
Meanwhile, Mr. Winful has suggested appointing persons with competence and integrity to head such institutions to eradicate the corrupt practices uncovered by the Auditor-General in its 2020 report.
“I see the main problem as having institutional leadership. As Madam mentioned about holding persons accountable, I will go a bit further and say that it starts from the top, that is the leader of the institution. Is he competent enough? Has he got integrity? Has he the capacity and capabilities to undertake the assignment?
“If appointments are made on that basis, you are going to have a leader who is not going to let all these happen. Because the leader will even insist that the lieutenants know what exactly they are supposed to do and will be held accountable and as a result, you are not going to have this,” he said.
His response was to back comments by the Director of Ghana Integrity Initiative, Linda Ofori-Kwafo, who insisted that culprits should be sanctioned.
“We have the Public Procurement Act and everything that is to guide us. What other laws do we need? It is all about holding somebody accountable at ECG for instance, holding somebody accountable, all the organizations we are talking about. I think that is what we are lacking,” she stated.
According to Mr. Winful, having the right people at the helm of affairs will ensure that the issue of corrupt practices is resolved halfway.
“We have got to confront the leadership issue and make sure that the right persons are really appointed. If we do that the battle will be half a won because you can bring in all the systems, procedures, laws, legislations and what have you. At the end of the day, that human being who is supposed to direct and oversee and ensure that things are done properly – that will be missing because we have gotten the wrong person,” he concluded.