Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu is calling for a parliamentary probe into how the CEO of the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) and his deputy allegedly disbursed public funds in car booths and on tabletops to New Patriotic Party (NPP) supporters.
According to him, it’s unacceptable and unjustifiable for officials of MASLOC to openly share public funds meant for beneficiaries of the scheme to party faithfuls.
“The CEO of Masloc and his deputy just contested for the NPP primaries and we saw monies on tables distributed as loans. Is that how money is disbursed as loans? That is not acceptable, that is why we are calling on you Mr. Speaker to bring them before your Finance Committee,” he said.
His demand follows media reports alleging that bundles of cash were offloaded from the booths of cars of belonging to the MASLOC CEO, Stephen Amoah, and his deputy, Abibata Shanni Mahama Zakariah who contested the NPP primaries for Yendi and Nhyiaeso constituencies respectively to influence delegates for votes.
Presenting a report by the Finance Committee on the budget performance of the Office of government machinery for the period of January to December 2019, Chairman of the Committee, Dr. Mark Assibey Yeboah said MASLOC disbursed a total of GHC99 million in 2019 as loans and projects but out of this an amount, GHC 92.5 million was disbursed to 74,334 micro loan beneficiaries.
He also informed the house that the rate of loan recovery by MASLOC has declined from 64% in 2017 to 55% in 2019.
“The committee was informed that during the period under review, the office of government machinery faced challenges including inadequate budgetary allocation arbitrary release of budgetary allocation and inadequate capacity of key implementers.
“This has adversely impacted on the ability of the office of the government machinery to effectively execute this program of activities as approved by Parliament,” he said.
In the Committee’s recommendations, it asked Masloc to put in place the needed mechanisms to improve its recovery rates.
But contributing to the debate on the floor, the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu said it will be appropriate for the Finance Committee to probe the actions of the MASLOC officials who are alleged to have shared the money to win votes during the NPP primaries.
Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu described the declined rate of loan recovery by MASLOC as disappointing and charged the officials to improve the collection of loans given to beneficiaries.
Adding to the Majority Leader’s comments, MP for Kumbungu, Ras Mubarak called for a special audit of all institutions whose CEOs contested in the just ended NPP primaries.
“It is not the best. Recovery rate has come down to about 55% which means a lot of Ghanaians who should have been getting support from MASLOC are not getting it because people feel it’s free money.
“Beyond appearing before the finance committee of Parliament to appraise the committee of what Masloc has been doing over the last few months of the year, I will call for a special audit of not just Masloc but also of the chief executive officers who competed for Parliamentary Primaries because clearly the things that we saw in the lead-up to the NPP primaries I think that we should not encourage as a country.”