The Ellembelle District Assembly in the Western Region says it has only received GH¢4.450 million as property rate and business operating from Ghana Gas Company Limited (GGCL) since 2017 and not GH¢8 million as was being speculated.
A recent radio interview granted by the Head of Corporate Communication of Ghana Gas, Ernest Owusu Bempah, was misinterpreted to mean an amount of GH¢8m had been paid to the District Chief Executive (DCE), Kwasi Bonzo.
But at a joint press conference addressed by both the DCE and the Corporate Head of Communication of Ghana Gas, Kwasi Bonzo told the media that the Assembly could only account for monies that had hit its account, and not what had not hit its account.
He said it could be possible that the said GH¢8 million figure quoted by the Ghana Gas Head of Communication could be correct or even more, but since the amount in question had not hit the account of the Assembly and not audited, the figure could not stand as money the Assembly had received.
He continued that as the DCE who took office in 2017, “the only amount that has hit the account of the Assembly from Ghana Gas and same audited is the payment of GH¢4.450 million of property rate and business operating permit.”
He explained that every business, including the gas company, operating in the area was mandated to pay property rates, and that the exact amount to pay was determined by the Land Valuation Board.
The DCE could, however, not tell exactly how much the gas company paid yearly as property rate.
DCE Bonzo explained further that the joint press conference was held to smoke the peace pipe between him and the Head of Corporate Communication of Ghana Gas over the conflicting figure.
He said considering the relationship the Assembly had with the gas company, it was important the record was set straight in respect of the conflicting figure in property rate and business operating permit.
On his part, Ernest Owusu Bempah denied that the GH¢8 million he mentioned in the interview with the local radio station was paid into the personal account of the DCE.
He said: “I have never sat anywhere to say the GH¢8 million was paid into the personal account of the DCE.”
According to him, what he said was that the gas company had paid property rate to the Assembly since 2017, and that the remaining sum may not have hit the account of the Assembly to take the figure to GH¢8 million.