Former Principal To Refund GH¢250k To College

The 2019 Auditor-General’s report has revealed that a former principal of the OLA College of Education in the Central Region contracted a loan of GH¢250,000 to renovate the college’s chapel without the required approval.

According to the report, the principal contracted the loan, with an interest of GH¢300,000 from Akatakyiman Rural Bank for the renovation works without the approval from neither the College Council, Director General of Ghana Education Service (GES), Ministry of Education nor the Minister of Finance.

The report also indicated that the principal was unable to provide any agreement on the loan with the bank.

The audit further disclosed that a total amount of GH¢206,249.94 from a monthly installment of GH¢11,458.94, has so far been repaid.

It mentioned that the principal indicated that students were billed to finance the loan, resulting in overburdening the students and guardians.

The Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Mr. James Avedzi, has  therefore cautioned  serving officers,  heads of institutions and accountants, to do due diligence  and ensure strong financial discipline during their tenure.

This, he said, would help them avoid some questions from the PAC, Economic and Organised Crime (EOCO) and Auditors after retirement.

“We want all serving officers not go in for loans without the approval from the necessary authorities, retirement can’t save them,” he stated.

He gave the warning when the committee, currently sitting in Takoradi, considered some infractions detected by 2019 Auditor-General’s report, which cited OLA College of Education for contracting a loan without prior approval from relevant authorities.

“We recommend that the principal and the accountant should desist from the practice and always seek approval from the appropriate authorities before loans are contracted.

“We further recommend that the two officers should be duly sanctioned for non-compliance of the Act,” the report added.

When the current principal of the College, Dr. Mrs. Regina Okyere-Dankwa and her team appeared before the PAC sitting, they reported that the principal and accountant who supervised the action under consideration had retired.

She told the committee that, though she invited the former principal to accompany them to the sitting in Takoradi, to explain the issues, he failed to show up.

From Emmanuel Opoku, Takoradi