Venture Capital Trust Fund (VCTF) has spent GH¢1.7 million (GH¢1,771,696) to purchase and renovate an apartment for its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) but the residence has not been occupied for the past four years.
The apartment located at Ridge was purchased at GH¢1.5 million and renovated at a cost of GH¢271,696.
This is contained in the Report of the Auditor-General on the Public Accounts of Ghana – Public Boards, Corporations and Other Statutory Institutions for the period ended 31 December 2022
Responding to this discovery, Management of VCTF blamed the delay and apparent neglect on lack of funds to furnish the place to convert it to a well-deserved office accommodation.
According to Management of VCTF, the renovation works rather took place in 2011 when the Trust Fund was a tenant.
Management further stated that since the purchase of the property in 2017, no renovations had taken place.
VCTF rejected Auditor General’s findings that the residence has not been vacant for four years but rather fourteen months.
Management claimed it has plans of converting the residence into an office for the Trust Fund but has not been able to implement the plans due to funding challenges.
Auditor-General observed that the unoccupied residence keeps deteriorating which could result in a high cost of renovation before it can be put to use.
Auditor-General’s report also noted that Management of VCTF has failed to recover an amount of GH¢853,100 paid to Nana Kwame Edusei in 2013 as a deposit for land the Trust Fund intended to acquire.
“Our interactions with the Management disclosed that Nana Kwame Adusei a self-styled Estate Agent offered to help the Trust Fund acquire a parcel of Land and thus became a middleman between the Trust Fund and the owners of the land.
“It turned out that after Nana Kwame Adusei was given an amount of GH¢853,100 as part payment of the cost of the land he started telling different stories each time the Trust Fund made enquiries about the land.
“The above irregularity has locked-up the resources of the Trust Fund and the delay in recovering the overdue debt resulted in the loss of value to the Trust Fund.
“We recommended that Management should intensify its efforts to recover the amount of GH¢853,100 from Nana Kwame Edusei and pay same into the Trust Fund’s coffers,” the report added.
According to Management, this amount forms part of a land case which has been referred to the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) and will be resolved pending the outcome of the investigations.
Land purchased for GH¢2,280,000 encroached
Auditor-General’s physical inspection of the assets of the Trust Fund disclosed that a 1.50-acre (0.61 hectare) parcel of land situated at Ridge, Accra was acquired by the Trust Fund in March 2011 from the Bethany Church at a total cost of GH¢2,280,000.
However, the land has not been used 11 years after its acquisition for its intended purpose resulting in part of the land being encroached on by the Bethany Church.
GH¢536,598 annual rent
While the land has been encroached the Trust Fund pays an amount of GH¢536,598 as annual rent to Ghana Shippers Authority for their current premises.
Management responded that it has plans to dispose of the land and use part of the proceeds to convert the residential building into an office.