Beneficiaries of the National Youth Employment Program (NYEP) in the Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam (AEE) District in the Central Region have launched a blistering attack on their District Coordinator, for allegedly pocketing their one month allowances worth GH7,600.

Abuga Pele, National Coordinator of the National Youth Employment Program

Mr. Andrews Kojo Dodoo is also accused of deducting GH¢10 each from the beneficiaries’ allowances for the months of September, October and November, without any explanation.

 

The beneficiaries, numbering 95, work under the Community Education and Teaching Assistance (CETA) programme of the NYEP, with a monthly allowance of GH¢80 each.

When contacted, Mr. Dodoo denied the allegations, but his deputy, Isaac Abeiku Nyanful, confirmed the incident.

According to the CETA personnel, their three months allowances for the months of June, July and August, 2010, per their checks at the Central Regional office in Cape Coast, had been released, but the servicemen have only been paid two months allowance.

The one month arrears, they said, had been pocketed by Mr. Dodoo, who, they suspect, had shared it with National Democratic Congress (NDC) Chairman in the AEE constituency, Kwabena Kwansah, Mr. Nyanful, the Central Regional Coordinator of the NYEP, Nana Osibey Quansah, as well as the National Coordinator and some senior officials in Accra.

“At one of our meetings with the District Coordinator, we asked him why one month of our allowance is still in arrears, when beneficiaries in other districts have received theirs. He told us that the mode of payment is not the same, and promised to do something about it, but till date, nothing has been heard of that amount,” complained one of the beneficiaries who spoke to The Chronicle on condition of anonymity.

However, when The Chronicle contacted Mr. Dodoo over the issue in Mankessim, he denied pocketing the one month allowance of the NYEP beneficiaries, and demanded to know where those allegations were coming from.

The AEE District operates four out of the five modules under the NYEP – Community Police Assistants (CPA), Community Education and Teaching Assistants (CETA), Health Extension Workers (HEW), and ZoomLion. That of the Youth in Road Maintenance is yet to be started.

Personnel of CETA, according to findings of investigations conducted by The Chronicle, started work on May 5, 2010.

However, their appointment letters given to them took effect from August I, 2010. Therefore, payment of allowances for the months of May, June and July became a problem, but the managers of the NYEP, when confronted, agreed to pay the arrears.

The first consignment of the beneficiaries’ allowances was released in September to cover the aforementioned months. But, some beneficiaries who spoke to The Chronicle, said they had only received two months payment out of the three.

Conflicting answers

Surprisingly, when The Chronicle contacted Mr. Dodoo over the issue, he denied ever pocketing the said amount (GH¢7,600).

According to him, the beneficiaries were posted to work in June, but their two-year appointment letters took effect on August I, 2010.

He told The Chronicle that the mistake made by managers of the NYEP was quickly resolved when their attention was drawn to it.

“In one of our monthly meetings with the Regional Coordinator, I asked him about the way forward, and he assured me that he has spoken to the managers of the program, who have agreed to pay the two months arrears,” Mr. Dodoo said.

He said the payment of allowances was not uniform in the region, since the problem, which was identified, was not peculiar to the AEE District.

“The first amount, which was released, was meant to cover the months of July and August, but some of the beneficiaries believed that the amount received was for the months of June and July,” said  Dodoo in a shuddering voice.

According to him, the NYEP did not effect payment to any of beneficiaries of the CETA in the months of April and May 2010, since they were on vacation.

“The NYEP did not effect payment to any of its beneficiaries in April and May, with the exception of we, the Coordinators,” he said.

He looked uncomfortable in his seat, with his eyes spying around, like that of someone being pursued.

That notwithstanding, he told The Chronicle that all arrears due beneficiaries of the CETA had been paid, except that of January 2011.

Zeroing in on allegation about the deduction of GH¢10 each from the beneficiaries’ allowances, Mr. Dodoo said it was a directive from the Regional Coordinator.

He said GH¢10 was supposed to be deducted from the beneficiaries’ allowances every month, with the intention of investing it as an insurance policy, “so that at the end of the two-year period, that money will be paid to them as a form of gratuity.”

According to him, the NYEP was also supposed to add GH¢10 every month to the said amount. However, he said the NYEP had suspended the initiative, since it had not finished negotiations with the company contracted for the job.

He denied ever deducting money from the beneficiaries’ allowances for the said project, upon hearing of the ongoing process.

Though Mr. Doodo denied ever pocketing one month of the beneficiaries’ allowances, his deputy, Mr. Nyanful, when contacted, confirmed the issue.

“My brother, I stand to gain nothing if I deny the story,” he said in a deep voice.

According to him, he received a call one day from his superior, Mr. Dodoo, informing him of the release of the allowances for the CETA beneficiaries, covering three months period.

Surprisingly, he said, Mr. Dodoo informed the beneficiaries that the amount received only covered their two months arrears, and with the remaining one month re-scheduled to be released later.

According to him, the explanation given by Mr. Dodoo did not go down well with the beneficiaries, and therefore, they decided to verify the truth from him (Nyanful), if he knew anything about their allowances.

He said realising the implication of what his superior was doing, he quickly called to demand answers from him, but was only told it was a directive from the Regional Coordinator that one month of the beneficiaries allowance (GH¢7,600) be reserved for allocation among themselves.

According to Mr. Nyanful, Mr. Dodoo informed him that GH¢2,600 of the said amount be allocated to some top officials, whilst the remaining amount (GH¢4,000), be shared among themselves.

He said he was later informed by Mr. Dodoo that the NDC Constituency Chairman, Mr. Kwabena Kwansah, had borrowed GH¢500 from the amount, whilst an additional GH¢500 had been used to cover bank charges and other expenses.

“Mr. Dodoo came to my house with GH¢1,000 in a brown envelope, and informed me that our Constituency Chairman has borrowed GH¢500 from my share, with a promise of refunding it to me the next day. Indeed, the promise was honoured, and Mr. Kwansah refunded GH¢500 to me,” he said.

Worried over the issue, Mr. Nyanful said he quickly called the Regional Coordinator to inquire if he knew anything about the action taken by Mr. Dodoo.

“I reported the case to Nana Osibey, and he told me that he did not instruct Mr. Dodoo to do anything of that sort, and that I should keep the amount he has given me. He promised to come to the district to investigate the issue, and apply the necessary sanction. However, after acquainting himself with the necessary information, Nana only told Dodoo to ensure that that the issue does not appear in the dailies, and that he will never defend him,” he fumed.

But, when The Chronicle contacted Nana Osibey on phone, he confirmed receiving such a report from Mr. Nyanful, but said his background checks into the matter proved otherwise.

“Nyanful once reported this allegation to me, and I tasked another coordinator to investigate the issue, but nothing was brought up against Dodoo. As it is now, we cannot prove that the gentleman has collected money from the people, or he has not given them their allowance when the money came. So, my brother, this is an internal affair, but there is no substance in that allegation,” Mr. Osibey said.

“If there is any proof in that matter, it will come out after the whole system has been regularised,” he said, and denied knowledge of GH¢1,500 in the possession of Mr. Nyanful.

The Constituency Chairman of the NDC, Kwabena Kwansah, when contacted on phone confirmed receiving GH¢500 from Mr. Dodoo, but said he had since refunded it, as promised.

“Oh, it wasn’t like a loan, but you see, I needed some money to do something, and as someone who is gainfully employed, and also a secretary to me, I went to him for that help. I readily paid the money in two days time, as promised, through his deputy,” he said.

He denied any knowledge about the conflict between the CETA beneficiaries and their District Coordinator, Mr. Dodoo.

 

 

 

 

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