The former District Chief Executive (DCE) of Pru Alhaji Iddrisu Gariba, has denied leaving a debt of GH¢32,753.22, which he allegedly withdrew from the accounts of the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) in the district and failed to refund.

He said at the time of handing over, the outstanding debt owed the NYEP by the district assembly was rather GH¢18,000.00 and not GH¢32,753.22 as quoted by a Daily Graphic report written by Samuel Duodo.

Reacting to the Daily Graphic report, Alhaji Gariba said all money borrowed from any other sources by the Pru District Assembly was done in the name of the assembly and used by the assembly and not for his personal activities.

The story indicated that NYEP in the Pru District of the Brong Ahafo Region was near collapse following the former District Chief Executive’s refusal to refund the GH¢32,753.22, which he allegedly withdrew from the District NYEP Account during his tenure as DCE.

Alhaji Gariba said he had nothing to refund, and added that the current DCE, who he suspected was the source of the story, wanted to suggest that the Pru District’s share of the Common Fund was paid into his private bank accounts.

The former DCE said by that report, the reporter showed his ignorance of the district assembly system and how things were done, adding that why was he singled out in the story for wrongdoing since all such _ transactions were carried out by the District Co-ordinating Director (DCD) and the District Finance Officer (DFO), in the name of the assembly.

Alhaji Gariba showed a copy of the handover notes which contained the said GH¢18,000.00 as an outstanding debt to the Daily Graphic. It was received and signed by a District Co-ordinating Director (DCD), Mr Frimpong Manso.

Alhaji Gariba said he did not understand why the assembly’s borrowing from the NYEP should be an issue, and explained that the Pru District Assembly, like many other assemblies and government agencies, occasionally borrowed from other sources when they were hard-pressed for funds. Later, they refunded these.

He said the money was used for projects, which the people in the district needed urgently.

“I am sure very soon the DCE will find himself in the same situation where he would have to borrow from some sources to undertake certain projects which need urgent attention,” he stated.

The former DCE cited areas such as Bankamba, Bomboden, Kunkunde, and Adjanterewa where children attended school under trees and thatched structures and, therefore, needed to be provided with pavilions.

Alhaji Gariba said the DCE was comfortably using the assets of the assembly so he should also accept the liabilities and find ways of settling them, adding that “when his tenure gets to the end, he will also leave debts for others to pay”.

Alhaji Gariba said the Pru District was one of the newly created districts which lacked many social amenities, so the assembly made it a policy to develop it as fast as it could.

“While the current DCE is blaming me for leaving so much debt for him to pay, he at the same time took pictures of many of the projects we put in place for his 2010 calendar, forgetting that those were some of the things we spent the funds on,” he pointed out.

Alhaji Gariba also stated that it was also not correct that because the assembly borrowed from the NYEP accounts, employees of the programme had not been paid for months, adding that those employees were paid directly through the banks, but not through funds sent to the various offices for administrative purposes.

On the issue that he had refused to respond to letters written to him by the assembly to answer why he had refused to refund the money, he challenged the DCE to come out with copies of such letters for the public to see.

He expressed his displeasure with the attitude of Daily Graphic’s reporter, who he said did not contact him for his side of the story before going public.

“It is unfortunate that people are quick to tarnish the image of others without giving them the chance to defend themselves,” he stressed.

Source: Daily Graphic

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