Recover GH¢ 1.7m locked up funds – Auditor-General directs NEDCo

The Auditor-General has directed the management of the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo) to recover GH¢1.7 million locked up at the Tisuugtaaba Community Bank and the GN Bank Limited, both collapsed.
The money was revenue collected for the company, which was expected to be deposited into the Power Sales and Security Deposit accounts at GCB at the end of every month, in accordance with the policy of NEDCo but was rather lodged at the Tisuugtaaba Community Bank Ltd and GN Bank Ltd.



“We recommend that management should take the necessary steps to recover the locked-up funds without delays,” the Auditor-General stated in his 2020 audit report of public boards and corporations.

The report also recommended that a principal accounts clerk at the Yendi office of NEDCo, Mr Gilbert Buree, refund GH¢302,571.86 with interest at the Bank of Ghana prevailing rate.

According to the Auditor-General’s report, a review of the internal audit of NEDCo for 2019 disclosed that Mr Buree did not lodge into the bank account, cash of GH¢302,571.86 as of January 30 2019.



The 2020 audit report also revealed that 43,884 post-paid customers of NEDCo, who were transferred onto the Prepaid Meters (PPM), had a total outstanding debt of GH¢28.52 million as of December 31 2019.

“We recommend that management should develop an installment payment plan for the customers and deduct it at source whenever the customers purchase credit at the sales outlets,” the audit report stated.

Checks

Although the report does not contain responses from NEDCo, Daily Graphic checks indicate that the lodgement was done with the approval of management.



Due to armed robbery attacks and other risks associated with carrying bulk cash over long distances, NEDCo developed a system to operate collection points only at where formalised banking institutions operated.

The company, therefore, settled on the two regulated institutions, GN Bank and Tisuugtaaba Community Bank Ltd, which received the collections and transferred them after a month into NEDCo’s account at GCB.

The system operated well until the two banks faced challenges, leading to their collapse, a source at the company, who is not authorised to speak on the issue, told the Daily Graphic.

It said NEDCo operated good books and invested well, stressing “we’ve not even done any investment that has gone bad.”


Goods and services

The audit report also revealed that the Volta River Authority (VRA) advanced more than GH¢43.3 million for prepayments of goods and services which were not retired as of December 31 2019.

“We recommend that the advances and prepayment for goods and services must be monitored to ensure that they are properly and fully accounted for immediately, failing which the Principal Spending Officer be held liable for any unaccounted advances,” the report stated.

According to the report, an amount of GH¢131,302 paid by the authority to 71 officers as salary advances had not been recovered.

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