THE National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) in the Pru District of the Brong Ahafo Region is collapsing, following the refusal of the former District Chief Executive (DCE) for the area, Alhaji Iddrisu Gariba, to refund GH¢32,753.22 he allegedly withdrew from the District NYEP’s account during his tenure as DCE.
The situation, according to sources at the NYEP Secretariat in the district, had led to the gradual crippling of the NYEP in the district.
In view of the situation, many youth in the district who were to be engaged under the various modules of the programme have been put on hold as existing beneficiaries are yet to be paid their salary arrears for last year.
This is because there are no funds in the NYEP Account in the district.
According to the sources, the said amount was withdrawn by the former DCE from the NYEP Account on three separate occasions.
Corresponding letters on the letter heads of the assembly written to the NYEP District Co-ordinator by the former DCE and copied to the District Finance Officer of the assembly requesting for the money were sighted by the Daily Graphic during the investigation.
The first letter, written and signed by the former DCE, titled “REQUEST FOR FUNDS”, was dated August 8, 2006 and read, “I would be grateful if you could release an amount totalling Sixty-Nine Million, Five Hundred and Thirty-Two, Two Hundred Cedis (¢69,532,200.00) from the National Youth Employment Programme Account for the assembly to meet immediate expenditure.”
The letter further stated, “The said amount would be reimbursed as soon as the assembly receives its share of the District Assemblies Common Fund.”
Another letter, written and signed by the former DCE to the District NYEP Co-ordinator titled “Loan of Fifty Million Cedis from Youth Employment Account”, dated April 5, 2007 and on the letter head of the assembly read “The District Assembly wish to loan an amount of Fifty Eight Million (¢58,000,000.00) from the Youth Employment Account in order to cater for some urgent problems. The amount loaned will be refunded from District Assembly Common Fund when the next tranche is received.”
The last letter, dated August 1, 2007, written and signed by the former DCE and titled “Transfer of Funds to the Yeji Branch Manager of the Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB)” and copied to the NYEP District Co-ordinator, read, “I would be grateful if you could transfer an amount of GH¢20,000.00 from the National Youth Employment Account No. 8071130000011 into the Assembly’s Common Fund Account No. 8071130000637 and advise the office accordingly”.
It stated further that “The amount would be reimbursed as soon as the Assembly receives its share of the District Assemblies’ Common Fund”.
The amount totalling GH¢32,753.22 allegedly withdrawn by the former DCE from the NYEP Account of the assembly has not been refunded by him (Alhaji Gariba) as stated in his letters requesting for the release of the monies, according to the finance office of the assembly.
When the Daily Graphic contacted the Pru DCE, Mr. Masawuud Mohammed, for his comments, he confirmed the story and said the assembly had written several letters to his predecessor to refund the amount involved to the assembly to ensure the smooth running and implementation of the NYEP in the district but all to no avail.
He added that he invited his predecessor to the assembly in order to put the matter to rest but that also failed, and that the assembly had no records indicating that the amount withdrawn by the former DCE had been refunded as stated in his letters requesting for the monies.
Asked about the next line of action to ensure that the former DCE refunded the money, Mr Mohammed said the assembly had forwarded the necessary documents to its lawyers and that it was waiting for aresponse.
Efforts to reach the former DCE to get his side of the story have proved futile, as his mobile phone has most of the time been off. When the call goes through, he does not receive it.