Source: Ghana | Myjoyonline.com |
Franklin Cudjoe, Executive Director, IMANI Center for Policy and Education has called for the immediate arrest of all directors of the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC).
His call comes in the wake of a GHc1 million fraud uncovered at the loans centre.
A report in the Tuesday, February 17 edition of the Daily Graphic said an acting Director of Operations of the scheme, Ken Kwaku Boadi Asare, is alleged to have forged 102 non-existing business associations to advance GH¢1,055,582 to two financial institutions – Rhokida Micro-Finance Limited and Unicorn Happy Investments Limited.
The suspect, who is currently on interdiction, is alleged to have acted in connivance with some regional officers of MASLOC to perpetrate the crime.
Investigators of the Economic and Organised Crimes Office (EOCO) have since concluded investigations into the matter. The docket on the case, according to the paper, is being finalised for onward submission to the Attorney Generals Department for advice.
Speaking on the report on the Super Morning Show on Joy FM Tuesday, Franklin Cudjoe said he is not surprised about the report and that “almost all government institutions that have interface with money unfortunately have” bred gangs of thieves.
According to him, “Year on year, almost all government enterprises aimed at the so called poverty reduction have become not just wasteful but they have become avenues for stealing.”
He believes that MASLOC “is not a proper organization. It’s just a political wing aimed at spreading our hard earned cash on wasteful so called enterprises. I can assure you this is just a tip of the iceberg.” He called for a comprehensive auditing of the finances of the scheme.
Mr. Cudjoe insisted that “MASLOC has no proper leadership. It is just essentially a wasteful one and I think that all the directors should be picked up right now.”
He is of the view that MASLOC should rather allocate its “funds to enterprise creating bodies already in the systems…empower known businesses with track record that can enhance the capabilities of these so-called poor.”
Franklin Cudjoe described MASLOC as a “baby version of GYEEDA” and is another avenue to share looted funds.
Although EOCO has been applauded for uncovering the fraud at MASLOC, the IMANI boss said it is a “very sleepy institution. I won’t trust them.”
He said if EOCO wants to be taken seriously, it should bring closure all other corruption cases such as GYEEDA.
Mustapha Abubakari, Deputy Chief Executive of MASLOC commenting on the issue, said the irregularities “was reported by MASLOC” and this happened “between 2012 and 2013.”
“It is through our own internal mechanism based on reports submitted by our regional managers…that we uncovered that these amounts of money are going down the drain. Investigations were carried out first and foremost before we reported to EOCO,” he stressed.
The MASLOC deputy boss noted that calls for the dismissal of managers are unfortunate and that due to internal mechanisms, MASLOC is now performing better.
Mr Ken Asare and Credit Officers who were implicated in the fraud have been dismissed, Mustapha Abubakari noted.
He revealed that an amount of GHc500,000 paid by former MASLOC CEO, Mrs Bertha Sogah into her husband’s microfinance company has been refunded fully.
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