Mahama’s ¢10m Youth Enterprise Fund had no Parliamentary approval Afenyo Markins

President John Mahama’s ¢10 million initiative to fund youth entrepreneurs has been described as unconstitutional and lacking parliamentary approval.

The Member of the Finance Committee of Parliament, Member of Parliament for Efutu constituency, Alexander Afenyo Markins told Joy News, the disbursement breaches Article 181 of the 1992 Constitution.

“(1) Parliament may be a resolution supported by the votes of a majority of all the members of Parliament, authorise the Government to enter into an agreement for the granting of a loan out of any public fund or public account” a part of the law states.

But the lawyer explained that the President ignored the provision when he launched the initiative on Tuesday, August 12, 2014. A secretariat has also been created at the Presidency to begin disbursing.

Checks on the government website revealed applications were opened on January 22, 2016, and closed February 19, 2016.

Chief Executive Officer Of Youth Enterprise Support (YES) Ms Helga Boadi

According to the website www.yes.gov.gh, no single business plan can receive more than ¢50,000.00.

Any business that receives financial assistance from YES is expected to repay the financial assistance at no interest.

Afenyo Markins suspects the President may have used an Executive Order or a cabinet decision to take money out of the consolidated fund for the initiative.

“The President cannot implement this through an Executive Order or a cabinet directive. Who approved it? Is it parliament? No. Parliament has never approved it,“ said Markins.

Effutu MP Afenyo Markins
Scanning through the 2015 and 2016 budgets, the lawmaker said there was no financial provision for YES.

Afenyo Markins warned that there are “consequences of any arm of government breaching the constitution”.

He wants government to “regularise” the YES initiative by coming to Parliament to obtain consent for the programme.

Lack of parliamentary approval for financial transactions was enough a basis for the Supreme Court to declare the payment of €25 million to Waterville as illegal. The apex court ruled that two international Business Agreements of 26th April 2006 between the Republic of Ghana and Waterville Holdings (BVI) did not go through parliament.

In 2015, the Minority in Parliament also accused the President of breaching the constitutions after it entered into a 3-year agreement with the IMF without parliamentary approval.

Afenyo Markins warned that there are “consequences of any arm of government breaching the constitution”.

He wants government to “regularise” the YES initiative by coming to parliament to obtain consent for the programme.

Afenyo Markins, a known defender of the provisions of the 1992 constitution usually goes to court to ensure that erring state institutions

He got the Supreme Court to the processes of the district level election as unconstitutional. It forced the Electoral Commission to postpone local government elections at great loss to the state.

Listen to audio