Sanitation Minister denies appropriating monies for personal use
The Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Mrs Cecilia Dapaah, has denied allegations that she had allotted an amount of GH¢151,000.00 out of the ministry’s allocation of GH¢246,966,071 in the 2019 budget for her security, clothing and entertainment allowances.
She was accused by the Member of Parliament for Bodi and Ranking Member on the Works and Housing Committee of Parliament, Mr Sampson Ahi, of allocating the said amount for her personal use.
Speaking at a press conference in Accra yesterday, Mrs Dapaah called on Mr Ahi to withdraw and apologise to her in all the mediums in which his false claim was published within 48 hours or face legal action.
“I ask Mr Ahi and all media outlets that published the allegation to withdraw the said publications and render an apology to me, giving it the same prominence as the defamatory remarks within 48 hours or face legal action,” she said.
She explained that the said amount in Mr Ahi’s claim was meant to cater for statutory allowances for directors and deputy directors of the ministry as enjoyed by their colleagues in other ministries, departments and agencies and stated clearly that she was not in any way benefiting personally from the ministry’s budget allocation.
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“I wish to state that the expenditure items as listed in the budget for the ministry include allowances for public service officers in categories A and B and not for the minister,” she said.
Mrs Dapaah said the allowances were meant for fuel, accommodation, utilities, domestic helps, entertainment and security.
She reiterated that it was not peculiar to her ministry.
The minister drew the attention of Mr Ahi to the fact that the allowances he referred to in his statement were officially approved by the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission and communicated to all ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) in a letter from the Ministry of Finance dated January 4, 2016.
“These allowances which are perks are not negotiated and are determined from time to time by the employer which is the government of Ghana,” she said.
She described as malicious and misplaced allegations Mr Ahi made to the effect that GHC89,000 had been earmarked for recruitment of security personnel, because the amount was emolument for four environmental health and sanitation officers.
“His allegations are misplaced, malicious, defamatory and a set of wicked and propagandist lies, meant to attack my hard won reputation and integrity,” she said.
Mrs Dapaah said Mr Ahi’s peddling of falsehood had caused her and her family pain and embarrassment and emotional distress and for which reason she was demanding an apology within 48 hours else she would initiate legal action against him.
She said the false allegation had also affected the image of the ministry which was working hard to tackle the decades-old sanitation and water challenges in the country.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Bodi and a Ranking Member on the Works and Housing Committee of Parliament, Mr Sampson Ahi, is reported to have accused the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Mrs Cecilia Dapaah, over the weekend of receiving one of the biggest allowances in the 2019 budget.
He is alleged to have stated that Parliament had approved GH¢246,966,071 for the ministry in the 2019 budget and out of that amount, GH¢ 151,000.00 was for the minister’s security, clothing and entertainment allowances.
The amount, he was reported to have quoted, was not inclusive of her salary and other benefits as a minister of state.
“I was not given clothing and entertainment allowances when I was there. The amount for recruiting security is about GH¢ 81,000.
Watchman allowance, GH¢36,000; Clothing allowance, GH¢18,000 and Entertainment allowance GH¢16,000. They are duplicating expenses,” the former Deputy Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing is reported to have said.