Concerns are being expressed about the appointment of one Abraham Tetteh as Administrator for the Tourism Development Fund, effective 10th February, 2014.
A communication from the Tourism Ministry to the Board Chairman of the Ghana Tourism Authority signed by the Acting Chief Director, Okyere Darko Ababio and dated 12th February 2014 confirms the appointment by President Mahama.
This has raised questions because the board is expected to take such decisions taking cognizance of the Tourism Act, 2011 and the Scheme of Service of which guides the operations of authority.
Section 24 sub section 1 of the Tourism Act, 2011 states that “the Fund shall be administered by the Board of Directors of the authority and a representative of the Controller and Accountant-General”.
The appointment of Mr. Tetteh by the President as communicated by the ministry is therefore seen as a breach of the law. There are fears this could lead to mismanagement of the fund if due procedure is not followed especially against the backdrop of past developments with such public funds.
The issue compelled the Board to convene an Emergency Meeting last Friday, 21st March, 2014 which the Board Chairman; Akunu Dakeh confirmed to JOY BUSINESS.
“We received a letter from the Ministry on the appointment of a fund administrator, we discussed it today at a special board meeting within the scheme and understanding of the legislation that set up the authority. Unfortunately, I cannot disclose the details of discussions of a board meeting but as I told you, we thought it useful to seek further clarification on the issue. We are going to consult the ministry about it and feed the board at the next meeting” he said.
JOY BUSINESS gathers the total amount raised since the inception of the Tourism Fund in October 2012 to date is almost 4 million Ghana Cedis. Mr. Dakeh also maintained the fund remains intact as the Act requires that only the Board can administer it.
“This is a new board and it's an issue of where the fund is lodged. I must say that we've discussed the issue and it's time to review the entire operations of the scheme. We've put together a fund management committee of the board; that is a five-member committee to try and look at how the entire fund is supposed to be administered as based on the Tourism ACT 817” he concluded.