Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Friday December 15, 2017
The lady at the centre of ejection allegation has said she was not involved in the operation by certain security personnel that threw out the belongings of some government workers staying in state bungalows in Accra.
Mrs. Grace Acheampong, a Protocol Officer in charge of housing at the office of the Chief of Staff, said she is being accused wrongly by the affected worker Abdulai Amin, a staff of the Accountant-General's Department and added that officials at the Ministry of Works and Housing were not being fair to her in the matter.
Narrating what triggered the issue, she told DAILY GUIDE that the Chief of Staff Frema Osei Opare put her in charge of estates and was supposed to liaise with the sector ministry headed by Lawyer Samuel Atta Akyea to track all government bungalows and flats in the Greater Accra Region.
She said she was also tasked to find accommodation for staff working at the presidency and as a result her team has been working since January to make sure all government bungalows in the region are intact.
According to Mrs Acheampong popularly calle O’gre, the process they adopted was that “a tenant-update form was designed and was signed by the Hon. Minister Atta Akyea and subsequently distributed to tenants in all the bungalows and flats visited, to be filled,” adding “the audit team went to all the areas in the region captured to administer the forms and then went back two weeks after administering them to collect the completed forms.”
“Tenants who could not submit their completed form to the team on the third and fourth visits were asked to submit them at room 56’ of the Ministry of Works and Housing,” she said.
According to the staffer, the tenants were requested to attach photocopies of their allocation letter, pay slip/rent payment receipts and appointment letter and based on the information provided “the team sorted and classified them into Defaulters, Non-Defaulters and Retired Tenants.”
She said that defaulting tenants were those who were not paying rent, or not being deducted rent at source according to their pay slips, or could not attach rent payment receipt from the Bank of Ghana and could not also prove an exemption of rent payments in their conditions of service.
“There are tenants who have attained the age of statutory retirement (sixty (60) years) but are still occupying the bungalows whilst some have even passed them onto their children,” she noted.
Mrs. Acheampong said the payment process was that the Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) was supposed to do the rent deductions while in some category of government workers, they were supposed to go to the Bank of Ghana to make the monthly payments since they were not receiving their salaries through the Controller.
According to her, the data they collated showed that 65% of government workers were living in the various government bungalows and flats free of charge because they do not pay rent.
She said in the case of Amin, the records showed that he was employed at Controller and Accountant General's Dept in 2013 and he moved into the property the same year, adding that he had not paid rent since 2013.
“He rushed to pay an amount of GH¢625 at the BoG in August this year when he realized he was being found out. My team gave all these information to the ministry,” adding “he came to me begging me for time and turned around to accuse me of ordering the security agents to eject him.”
“I did not ask the security personnel to go and eject him. I only passed the information I gathered on him and others to the ministry for action. I don’t have that power to order security personnel about.”