A Ranking Member on the Local Government Committee of Parliament, Edwin Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, has threatened to use parliamentary processes to compel the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) to tackle the constant siphoning of its funds.

He alleged that some assemblymen may be accomplices to the stealing of revenues collected on behalf of the AMA.

Speaking at the election and confirmation of the new Presiding Member of the Assembly on Thursday, March 17, the Odododiodioo lawmaker explained that such acts deny the AMA of needed funds to develop the city.

As part of efforts to ensure accountability and transparency to safeguard the interest of AMA, Mr. Vanderpuye hinted that he will not hesitate to summon officials of the Assembly if the practice does not cease.

“As a Ranking Member of the Local Government Committee of Parliament, I have information and knowledge about the difficulties the AMA is going through as far as revenue mobilisation is concerned. But we know the truth that there are so many seepages in the system. There are individuals and characters who have allocated to themselves, revenue collection in Accra and are not accountable to the Assembly.

“As a former Deputy Minister for Local Government, I shudder to say, if the AMA would continue and allow the seepage to continue, I would not hesitate to use the parliamentary structure to drag the AMA before Parliament.

“You go to markets and you see different tickets being given out and you could see some of the tickets, which are not authentic tickets from the Assembly and we have Assembly members representing this Assembly and some of them see these things and keep quiet,” he claimed.

But the newly-elected Presiding Member of the AMA, Alfred Adjei, has refuted the claims by the Member of Parliament.

He has, however, called for investigations into the allegations and promised to deal with Assemblymen who are found culpable.

“He’s a Member of Parliament, he is part of the Assembly. If there is any concern, he has the right to raise that concern. He has raised the concern that ‘ABCD’ but it is not categorically true, that maybe this or that. We have the Revenue Sub-Committee Chairman and it has been captured in our minutes; I have tasked them to see the honorable member on the statement that he made. It needs to be buttressed by documents then we take that matter up.

Nii Lantey Vanderpuye threatens to haul AMA officials before Parliament over alleged diversion of funds
Re-elected Presiding Member of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Alfred Adjei (left) [Photo source: AMA]

“From there, it will come to the Executive Committee and the General Assembly will rule on that. Anyone who would be caught culpable would be dealt with. I am a member of the Audit Committee of the Assembly and we have records of people engaged in financial malfeasance that we’ve taken the matter up.

“I don’t want the generalisation of things; this is an institution. If one or two individuals are not working for the betterment of the Assembly, they would be dealt with,” he assured.