Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Friday April 13, 2018
Two former Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) under the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration are being held responsible for alleged financial malfeasance during their tenure.
Bertha Sogah and Sedina Tamakloe Ationu have been indicted by a forensic audit team which recommended their prosecution for the alleged fraudulent acts.
In the case of Ms Sogah, who was appointed during ex-President JEA Mills’ tenure, she allegedly supervised the procurement of fishing nets at the cost of $758,102.75 which allegedly resulted in overpayment in 2012, according to the auditors.
MASLOC had transferred GH¢932,736.81 for payment, and the audit report indicated there was an overpayment of GH¢174,634.06.
On the part of Sedina Tamakloe Ationu, the report said Sedina Tamakloe Ationu, an appointee of then President Mahama, allegedly withdrew ¢500,000 belonging to MASLOC and invested it in a private non-banking financial institution called Obaatampa Microfinance but reportedly failed to pay back into the stated accounts of MASLOC.
The report indicated that MASLOC invested the amount in a 91-day fixed deposit with Obaatanpa Microfinance Ltd at an interest rate of 26% per annum in July 2014 but the former CEO allegedly wrote a letter on August 28, 2014 instructing Obaatanpa to terminate the investment and pay back the amount.
It said that although there is evidence that the amount was paid as directed by Sedina Tamakloe Ationu, there is however no evidence of the amount having been paid back into the accounts of MASLOC.
"Mrs Sedina Tamakloe should be held responsible for the refund of the amount of ¢500,000 with interest in accordance with regulations 61(5) of the Financial Management Act, 2003 (654)," the auditors recommended.
According to the report, over GH¢2 million was approved in 2016 for the implementation of sensitization programmes across the country but that cannot be accounted for under Sedina Tamakloe Ationu.
The report said based on the budget, MASLOC planned outreach programmes in all 10 regions in 2016 and a budget of GH¢1,706,000 was approved by the then MASLOC Board at its 27th general meeting held on April 26, 2016 for the implementation of those programmes.
There were 24 payment vouchers prepared in furtherance of the outreach programmes, and the total amount involved was GH¢2,044,780.00, which were all withdrawn, according to the report of the audit team.
The auditors said it turned out there was also no record of refund of the monies even though there is evidence the projects for which the monies were released did not exist.
As a result, the report recommended that Sedina Tamakloe Ationu must be held responsible for the misappropriation of the amount and be made to refund and charged with fraud.
There is also a case of over-invoicing of mobile phones purchased by MASLOC for the PINCO project market survey.
The report said that the phones were overpriced by GH¢174,612.
The report also touched on the procurement of 2,000 tricycles at a contract sum of GH¢17 million.
Other officials, including the Head of Operations and Finance at MASLOC, were also indicted in the report.
It would recalled that ahead of the 2016 elections, MASLOC was said to have awarded a contract for the supply of 1,000 motor tricycles to the tune of GH¢10 million translating to GH¢10,000 per tricycle.
The contract was awarded on November 7, 2016 – just one month to the crucial general elections – even though the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MASLOC, Sedinam Tamakloe Attionu, had written to the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) as far back as May 4, 2016 for approval.
Three companies Crisjoe Company Limited, Spell Trust Limited and IEL Logistics Limited were given the contract to supply the tricycles, and they were all said to be sole-sourced.
Sedinam Tamakloe has been under investigation by EOCO since last year over issues related to her headship of the institution.