Dr. Steve Manteaw, the Chairman of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC), has said the vision of moving Ghana beyond aid will not be achieved if funds allocated for development projects are not used appropriately.
Misappropriation of state funds, non-existence of projects, non-judicious use of funds and value for money are some of the issues PIAC believes impedes development.
The government in 2017 allocated GH¢2.2 million on physical infrastructure in the education sector, but not a single project was constructed, Dr. Manteaw said during a public forum organised by PIAC in the Wa East District Capital, Funsi, in the Upper West Region.
The percentage of oil money allocated to support development projects from 2011 to 2017, could catapult Ghana beyond aid, but several projects reported to have been executed did not exist, while some funds had also been wrongly used.
He cited Nakori and Duri dams in Upper West as well as GH¢ 35,000,000.00 for Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) as non-existent.
None-judicious use of funds included bus re-branding that took away GH¢ 3,649,044.75, support for Creative Industry with GH¢2,000,000.00, and the lack of value for money due to overrun cost in road constructions, and the construction of a six-unit classroom block for GH¢14,909,744.00.
Others were power supply at Bagabaga College of Education for GH¢4,028,245.00, and the training of 5,000 people with disabilities in ICT for GH¢ 10,000,000.00
Dr. Manteaw disclosed that in the year 2017, an amount of GH¢ 41,617,767.70 was allocated to go into roads, rail and other infrastructural development, GH¢49,070,181.20 spent in the agricultural sector, and GH¢202,379,893.20 was also allocated to go into physical infrastructure and service delivery in education.
Also, GH¢8,660,362.75 went into health service delivery and physical infrastructure.
PIAC believes there ought to be properly defined guidelines in the selection of the priority areas, while few legacy projects should be identified and supported by the Annual Budgeting Funding Amount (ABFA).