The Daily Graphic article actually states that public institutions lost 4.55 billion Ghana cedis over the last 5 years due to financial irregularities in seven broad areas:
- Outstanding debts/loans/recoverable charges – 1.97 billion Ghana cedis
- Cash irregularities – 2.32 billion Ghana cedis
- Payroll – 4.5 million Ghana cedis
- Irregularities in Procurement – 55 million Ghana cedis
- Tax inconsistencies – 8 million Ghana cedis
- Stores irregularities – 32 million Ghana cedis
- Contract irregularities – 156 million Ghana cedis
In a way, I’m glad this report from the Auditor-General came out. It shows that somebody cares about corruption.
At current exchange rates of 2.25 Ghana cedis to 1 USD, the amount lost over the last five years is approximately $2 billion. It appears that 2011 and 2012 were the worst years with about 2 billion Ghana cedis gone missing in each of those years. Considering Ghana’s GDP is around $40 billion, it appears that irregularities occurred at 2.5 percent of GDP for the past two years.
2.5 percent of GDP!
If you ask a Ghanaian who is to blame for the country’s problems, you inevitably hear, “It’s our leaders.” This report suggests that corruption is rampant. No single individual seems to be culpable.