By Aisha Tamba
The head of Internal Audit at the Ministry of Finance has said that the Basse Area Council took about D26,994,181 bank loans without approval from the Ministry of Local Government.
Appearing yesterday at the ongoing Local Government Commission, Cherno Amadou Sowe testified that the BAC took unauthorised loads in violation of the LG Act.
“Our observation from the D26 million is that they contracted these loans without having the approval from the Ministry of Local Government.”
He said while the council is allowed to contract loans, it has to be approved by the ministry. “Ultimately, if they take loans and default on the loans, technically, the government could be held liable for those loans. That is why the consent of the minister should be sought so that they make due diligence,” he explained.
He further stated that D15 million loans were taken without even the council not being made aware. Of this, D10 million was taken from Supersonicz Microfinance and D5 million from Vista Bank.
“The audit team has discovered that, yes, the council was aware or has given approval for some of the loans but the D5 million and the D10 million were something that they were not aware of. So, you can conclude that it was done behind the council’s back by the chief executive and the council’s finance director,” Sowe posited.