Secured $65 million World Bank loan not released – Witness

Mr Jacob Atule Adongo, a Director for Gender and Disability of the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) says the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA) secured the $65 million loan from World Bank but it was not released.

He said loan was secured and communicated to the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the NYEP in a meeting approved by the World Bank to the equivalent of $60 million for the youth enterprise project, meanwhile in an earlier between the World Bank, the Ministry and NYEP, they had agreed to give $5 million for the preparatory activities.
Mr Adongo said there was about a 1,000 miles from securing funds from a donor partner, to its being released.

He said once a loan was secured, the government needed to go through a rigorous process for release of the fund from the donor.

“We as a country not that am aware of has accessed even GH¢1.00 of the secured fund,” he added.

He said these funds were all put together to arrive at the $65 million and it was after the approval that NYEP then, commenced the preparative activities including the tracier study, integration into the Public Services Commission, a trip to Latin America, enactment of a law to govern the organisation and even to establish an office to implement the projects.

He said it was not the business of the consultants, Goodwill International Group (GIG) to ensure that the funds were released but rather, it was the government and its agencies duty to that effect.

He said GIG at all material times delivered on its mandate to the NYEP by of providing services, they were consulted for.

He said after the approval, the World Bank put all these into a codified document called the project appraisal document and its summary the loan agreement, what the fund meant to do and even made mention of was the $5 million support from DANIDA for work on persons with disability regarding employment.

The Witness said he was one of the key parties in the implementation of the project.

He said the World Bank indicated that they intended to concentrate a portion of their resource on disability employment, so he was asked to familiarise himself with the project document to enable him track the progress of the project to benefit the people.

“The World Bank handed over to me a Braille and print copy of the document and l still have copies in my custody,” he added.

The witness, through the Counsel of Mr Philip Akpeena Assibit, a representative of GIG led the Defence Witness to tender the copies of the Braille and print copies of the appraisal document from the World Bank, which the State objected too.

The court even though admitted the exhibits referred the braille document to the University of Ghana for it to be translated into print, since the state was in doubt of its authenticity.

Mr Abuga Pele, the former National Co-ordinator of GYEEDA and Mr Philip Akpeena Assibit, a representative of GIG, are facing various charges of causing financial loss of GH¢41.1 million to the State.

Assibit is being accused of putting in false claims that he had secured a $65-million World Bank funding for the creation of one million jobs for the youth, which led government to part with GH¢ 41.1 million.

The court adjourned Wednesday July 19, for the witness to be cross-examined.

Source: GNA

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