The Auditor General, has cited the management of the Accra Digital Centre, an Agency of the Ministry of Communication and Digitalisation, led by Ursula Owusu Akuful, for some procurement breaches, as well as unjustified debt cancellation amounting to GH¢1,087,601.92.
Kofi Ofosu Nkansah, who calls himself “Foot Soldiers President”, was well over four years in-charge of the Centre as its Managing Director until President Nana Akufo-Addo sent him to be the Chief Executive Officer for the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP).
He had spent most of his tenure at the Centre busy on social media platforms engaging in political attacks on opponents ,as well as needless banters, rather than meeting the objectives of the centre which is to “Champion the development and management of Technology Parks and Digital Centres across Ghana to promote ICT-driven Economic growth”.
The Centre was also to “provide world-class infrastructure and the enabling environment that will attract and retain ICT and IT-enabled Business Process Outsourcing companies to promote Entrepreneurship and Digital Job Creation for accelerated growth”.
It has not been able to achieve any of these objectives and unemployment amongst the youth, continues to remain a national security threat.
But Kofi Ofosu Nkansah’s tenure, has been captured as witnessing a baseless write-off of GH¢1,087,601.92 debt and unauthorized procurement of an accounting software called Adroit ERP, to help the Center prepare its accounts without approval from the Auditor-General.
These were contained in a query in the Auditor-General’s report in respect of 2021 dated June 1, 2022 and addressed to the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin.
The Auditor-General’s report was compiled pursuant to Section 15 of the Audit Service Act, 2000 (Act 584) which requires that, the Auditor-General examines the Financial Statements of public sector institutions and certify whether, they present fairly, financial information on the accounts in accordance with accounting policies of government and consistent with statements of the preceding year in accordance with best international practices.
According to the report, “A review of the debtor’s record disclosed several irregular write-offs of account receivables totaling GH¢1,087,601.92. “
The Auditors therefore, “recommended that Management should provide justification for the total account receivable write-offs of GH¢1,087,601.92.”
The Auditor-General also uncovered some administrative irregularities.
“We noted during our review that the Centre’s 9000 square meter property, within which about 40 companies occupy, was not insured. We recommended to the Management to liaise with the Ministry to insure the property as required by the Act without further delay to mitigate the risk posed to lives and property,” parts of the report read.
The audit exercise disclosed that, “the Center procured an accounting software called Adroit ERP to help the Center prepare its accounts without approval from the Auditor-General. We recommended that Management should write to the Auditor-General to review and approve the Adroit ERP software.”
According to the Auditor-General, its review of account receivables for the period “disclosed that rent outstanding for the 4 years continued to increase by an average of 90%.”
They therefore, “recommended that, Management should institute a more workable rent payment regime and enforce same. Also, Management should liaise with the Ministry of Finance to get parliamentary approval for the write-off of the uncollectible debt.”
The vision of the Center built by the Mahama administration was to position Ghana as a Regional ICT Hub to enable a leap into the digital age.
Its mission, is to provide the required environment, infrastructure and services to facilitate the growth of ICT/BPO Sector and accelerate technological innovation to augment the private sector’s role in providing relevant ICT Solutions to various sectors of Ghana’s Economy.
It is to foster Innovation and Entrepreneurship through the provision of platforms for business incubation, business acceleration as well as digital research and development programs and also provide access to relevant ICT solutions for various sectors of the economy to cater for Ghana’s fast-changing ICT needs, through partnership with the private sector.
The Centre has since deviated from these objectives.