Parliament, others indebted to Graphic

The 2017 Auditor General’s report has uncovered that institutions including Parliament of Ghana owes the Graphic Communications Group Limited millions of Ghana Cedis on newspapers they procured.

Apart from the legislature, the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) also owe the company.

A Member of Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee, Dr. Clement Apaak wondered why institution like Parliament owed the company despite the regular budgetary allocation for reading materials to settle such expenses by the august house.

“Is it not my understanding that parliament has a budgetary allocation to take care of reading material, including newspapers? So why are we not discussing our responsibilities? We can’t be proud of this.”, he said

Responding to the audit queries, the Managing Director of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL), Benjamin Ato Afful said several attempts to recover such debts have not yielded any results.

He however did not disclose the exact amount owed by Parliament and other assemblies.

“On the top of mind I cannot state this amount. Since this is a house of public record I cannot state a number I’m not sure of”, he said.

Mr Afful said Parliament in May paid part of its arrears following an appeal to Speaker of Parliament at an event, adding that the company has two recovery agencies in place to recover the debts owed recalcitrant clients.

He told the committee that his office has approached the Information Minister and their regulator to assist them with follow-ups to recover the debts.

“We consider the state and the state apparatus as critical partners to our information dissemination agenda and therefore we will continue to support them but we will also use this channel and this medium to plead that this national asset would only survive when we support it to do so, so we would entreat yourself included to honour your payments that are due to us and we will to supply you accordingly” the Managing Director of the Graphic Communications Group Limited stressed.

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Apart from the arrears, the 2017 Auditor General’s reported that newspapers worth GH¢7,312,674 were produced but not sold.