The Government of Ghana (GoG) has expressed worry over revenue leakages in the Ghanaian economy, which it said was hampering the level of development of the country.

Finance and Economic Planning Minister, Dr. Kwabena Dufuor made this observation when he commissioned a new headquarters building (Annex III) for the Audit-Service in Accra yesterday.

According to him, irregularities in the various government institutions between periods of 2005/2006 would have cost the nation a whooping sum of GH¢ 28 million, had it not been the intervention of the Audit Service which identified it for recovery.

According to him, government had always depended on monies saved in the Consolidated Funds for various projects in the country, and if reports of irregularities could be acted upon promptly and effectively, and monetary value recovered quickly, the funds would always become available for significant development projects.

He said in-spite of the achievements made by the Audit Service, there still exist many avenues of revenue leakages in the economy and, therefore, called on the Auditor-General to accept the challenge to identify the revenue loopholes and support the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to plug them.

“I urge the Auditor-General and all staff of the Audit Service to be upright and support this government in plugging revenue leakages at all revenue collection points and from all other sources, so that inflows into the Consolidated Fund would be maximized for the greater good of all Ghanaians”, noted the Finance Minister.

Dr. Dufuor also urged all Ministers and Chief Directors, Chief Executives and Heads of MDAs and subvented organizations and corporations to collaborate with the Audito-General and his staff in the discharge of their duties to ensure effective monitoring and use of public resources.

He again urged the Auditor-General to collaborate more closely with his auditees (Controller and Accountant General and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning), in finding common platforms for resolving issues concerning the Consolidated Fund.

He commended the Audit Service for the good job done in saving the country millions of cedis for its developmental projects and urged its staff to sustain the professionalism it has over the years exhibited in the discharge of their duties.

“The Audit Service has carved an enviable image for itself. It is the desire of this government that competence and professionalism exhibited are sustained so that the integrity of the auditor is always above reproach”, he noted, adding “if we cannot rely upon the honesty and objectivity of the constitutional auditor or his report, then wherein lies our assurance of good governance and effective financial discipline?

The Auditor-General, Mr. Edward Dua Agyemang, on his part expressed happiness having completed the building which was supposed to have been completed in 2005, but for lack of finance, the stipulated time had to be postponed.

“The completion of this building and its commissioning today holds for us a special significance as it demonstrates the commitment of the Audit Service, Board and Management to provide the needed infrastructure for the service to facilitate efficient and effective audit delivery”, he noted.

Source: Chronicle