GARID: NDC demands accountability for $200m loan

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The NDC has demanded that the World Bank audits the Greater Accra Resilience and Integrated Development (GARID) Project. This was after Parliament approved another $150 million World Bank facility for the project on May 17. It said the government has misappropriated part of the GARID loan and is dodging accountability.

According to the Minority Leader, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, $65 million from the $200 million facility was misused and unaccounted for. He said the government has accessed almost $180 million from the $200 million facility but has nothing to show for it.

“Someone somewhere is trying to distort the facts. But there’s the need for us to correct the records and let Ghanaians be aware of what exactly the situation is. So far, they have drawn down almost $180 million out of the $200 million loan.”

He said despite receiving that amount, the government has “misappropriated or misapplied” it with no meaningful work to show.

Ato Forson said, $65 million of the GARID loan amount was supposed to be dedicated to stopping floods in the national capital. However, that amount was used for COVID-19 expenses which he says the government is afraid to account for.

“For example, $65 million of the GARID loan that was supposed to be used for the purposes of killing the floods, was misapplied for the purposes of COVID-19 expenditure. We don’t have the breakdown of the COVID-19 expenditure.”

According to Ato Forson, unlike normal World Bank loans where the contractor receives direct payment, the GARID loan is paid to the government through the Ministry of Works and Housing. He said the Ministry has since refused to present accounts to Parliament on the expenses made from the money.

“We were told that unlike a typical World Bank facility, where a project implementation unit would have been established, and payments made directly to the contractors, in this case, the amount was paid into the Ministry of Works and Housing’s account, and the Ministry has failed to account to Parliament how much money that they have spent from that account.”

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