An internal audit conducted by Youth Employment Agency (YEA) has revealed there are 20,000 ‘ghost names’ have been on the payroll of the agency for the past three years.
The ‘ghost names’, according to the audit, cost the taxpayer about GH¢82.5 million every year.
Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, revealed this during the maiden nation-building updates in Accra on Tuesday, September 22, 2020.
The updates are expected to give an account of the stewardship and achievements of the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s administration in the last four years.
“Youth Employment Programme, one of the most significant things they have done is that, just by doing due diligence, saved us about GH¢82.5 million a year for the last three and a half years. For all the numbers that they were claimed to have been on the Youth Employment Programme, by doing an audit, about 20,000 ‘ghost names’ have been exorcised from that roll and the numbers about GH¢82 million a year,” Oppong Nkrumah said.
He said the YEA has since refocused operations to become a facilitator for other agencies.
“They are supporting other initiatives including what was described by the Ghana Football Association president as a game-changer. About 1,000 young people who are being paid monthly stipends because they are footballers,” he said.
This is not the first an internal audit at the YEA has uncovered a huge unauthorised leak of the public coffers.
In 2017, a similar internal audit exposed huge financial malfeasance believed to have cost the country GH¢50 million.
The YEA is mandated by law to coordinate, facilitate and supervise employment for the youth and related matters in the country.