A recent special audit at the Youth Employment Agency (YEA), has revealed that there were some beneficiaries in the Youth in Coastal Sanitation module in Tamale, and other areas in northern Ghana.
This is contrary to the main objective of the youth in coastal sanitation module, which is to maintain clean beaches and ensure a conducive environment for inhabitants and tourists.
The Acting Chief Executive of YEA, Mr Justin Kodua Frimpong who revealed this said it was baffling that beneficiaries of the module meant to be in the coastal areas were in northern Ghana, a savannah area.
A description of the activities under the module states that, “The youth will be trained and employed by splitting the coastline into community zones. They will engage in regular cleaning of the beaches, collection and disposal of rubbish and general beautification of the coastal areas, protection of wildlife where necessary and each community is envisaged to generate its own revenue in due course through wildlife conservation and tourism.”
In a radio interview on Oman FM’s Boiling Point talk programme on Thursday night, Mr Frimpong said the audit into the operations of the YEA in 45 selected districts and regional offices across the country, has revealed disturbing findings.
Consequently, he said all those through whose acts, caused financial loss to the YEA would be invited beginning next week for them to explain themselves, after which the matter would be forwarded to the appropriate quarters for the way forward.
He said the source of funding for the YEA was mainly from the talk tax, which contributes about 80 per cent of taxes raised to the programme and that, he would not allow that money to go waste.
At a press conference in Accra on Wednesday, Mr Frimpong presented a situational report of the YEA and said following the audit, the YEA has been able to save the state GH¢20, 206,800 in four months following the deletion of 16,839 ghost names from the payroll of the agency.
Additionally, as part of a physical verification exercise undertaken by the agency to expose financial malfeasance committed by the previous management, the agency has between February and May, this year, stopped the payment of GH¢17, 331,600 to 14,443 non-existing beneficiaries.
The YEA was originally inaugurated as the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) by former President J.A. Kufuor in October 2006, but had its name changed to the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA) in 2012 and later to its current name. The YEA derives its mandate from the Youth Employment Act 2015 (Act 887).
In 2013, former President John Mahama instructed the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice to retrieve money illegally paid to individuals and companies through contracts with the then GYEEDA, the Savannah Accelerated Development Agency (SADA) and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
The National Coordinator of the GYEEDA at the time, Mr Abuga Pele, and the Managing Director of Goodwill Consultancy Firm, a contractor, Mr Philip Akpene Assibit, were prosecuted for misappropriation of funds at the agency and are currently standing trial.
The former NDC government announced that it had retrieved GH¢14.5 million as part of illegal money paid to contractors under the former GYEEDA.