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YEA suspends allowances over ‘fraudulent’ payments

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The Youth Employment Agency (YEA), has suspended payment of allowances to over sixty thousand beneficiaries.

According to the Chief Executive Officer of YEA, Justin Kodua Frimpong, the new management has detected fraudulent activities, including allowances to thousands of people who do not work for the agency.

There are about ten separate modules under the YEA programme, with over six hundred thousand beneficiaries according to their website.

The CEO, Justin Kodua Frimpong, told Citi News that the payment has been suspended for three weeks, to investigate the irregularity.

“The payment of beneficiary allowances for the Youth Employment Agency has been suspended and the reason being that a common excel verification exposed certain things to us. We realized that YEA pays beneficiaries through e-zwich then it became suspicious and abnormal finding out that there were about three people with different names using the same e-zwich number. We also realized that there are about 2,999 people on the beneficiary payroll who do not work, but at every month they withdraw allowances and also another anomaly we found was that, some  people are also working, but as far as May 2016 have not been paid.”

The CEO added that, others also do not have appointment letters or assumption of duty letters.

“So looking at all these and in the interim, we realized that if we should proceed to pay the allowances, we are going to face serious challenges. What we are interested in now is how we are going to save the public purse.”

In a separate statement signed by Acting Deputy CEO, Bashiru Ibrahim, he said the suspension will save the agency “and the Ghanaian taxpayer GHc1, 067,700 per month.”

The statement further noted that, based on the findings, management of YEA has commissioned the Internal Audit Agency to conduct a special audit into the operations of the Agency.

“This has become necessary in order to provide a platform for the new administration to take measures to prevent the scandals that rocked the Agency in the past. By this communication, management appeals to beneficiaries to remain calm as we work to complete the validation process. We apologize for the inconvenience caused,” he added.

By: Godwin Akweiteh Allotey/citifmonline.com/Ghana