Public Accounts Committee Folds Up Business

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament on Friday concluded its public hearing with the Electoral Commission behind closed doors. In all the PAC audited the accounts of 15 public- owned enterprises. Mr Kweku Botwe, Acting Manager of Ghana Water Company told the committee that the percentage of water loss in the country currently stands at 42, which is more than the accepted 30 per cent. He expressed the need for the company to take advantage of technology to be able to deal with the commercial losses, which it incurs through illegal connections and burst pipe lines. Mr Alban Sumana Bagbin, Minister of Water Resources Works and Housing, said efforts were being made to restore water to distress areas such as, Adenta, Madina and East Legon. He identified the problem facing the water sector as population explosion without corresponding expansion of the facilities available. Mr Albert Kan Dapaah, Chairman of the PAC asked why consumers should pay for the expansion of their business since the company is a limited liability. He said Ghanaians were not only paying for the expansion of the company, but 42 per cent loss that the Water Company was not able to control. Mr Dapaah said if the loss was minimised the company could wean its self from the huge deficits. He said it was unpardonable for the company to look up to government for grants, which were sometimes written off only to run into another deficit. Mr Nii Akwei Ankrah, Managing Director of State Housing Corporation, said the company would take advantage of the credit facilities available to turn its fortunes around to perform its traditional mandate in the face of the stiff competition posed by private estate developers. Mr William Agbenyegah, Managing Director of Ghana Reinsurance Company Limited said though the companies that reinsures 20 per cent of their profit folded up as result of a legislation in 1995, the company managed to renegotiate for these companies to reinsure with a premium of 35 per cent as their profits. He said the company had extended its investment to some African countries and was adequately prepared for the oil boom that was expected in the third quarter of the year.