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Waste of Covid funds one of the biggest scandals in Ghana – Bawa Mogtari

Source The Ghana Report

Special aide to former President John Dramani Mahama, Joyce Bawah Mogtari, says the government wasted the Covid funds that were mobilised during the pandemic.

Her comments come after the breakdown of the Covid-19 expenses given by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, in Parliament on Wednesday, 22 June 2022.

In all, the sector minister said an amount of GH¢12.04 billion had been spent between the period of March 2020 and May 2022, while President Akufo-Addo had earlier said in his recent State of the Nation Address (SONA) that GH¢17.7billion was spent.

“How the funds were wasted by the powers that be is one of the biggest scandals in this country.

“If we call an investigation into these huge figures bundled about, you will find out that like all the other monies that we have heard about, these monies have gone into private confers,” she alleged.

She further noted that the current government is mismanaging the economy, a situation she said was evident in the rising rate of inflation.

“Inflation is an all-time high, the highest in 18 years, the hardship on the good people of Ghana especially the poor, the social protection, we don’t know what is happening to them.”

“Let us demand that the economy will be better managed. Let’s demand how much the finance minister’s bank Data Bank has been paid for the transaction advises it has given,” she added.

Meanwhile, a member of the National Communications team of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Ellen Ama Daaku, has said that there was no dishonesty in the decision by the government to use portions of the Covid funds to pay for the free water and electricity for lifeline consumers during the peak of the pandemic.

She said even though it was free, the government needed to find money to pay the service providers hence the use of parts of the Covid funds to defray the cost.

“I don’t see the dishonesty in this. At that time when we were taking the water, it was free but as a state, how then do we settle these debts. We had to keep Ghana Water company running, that money had to be given to them and so that money was taken from the Covid funds,” she replied.

While accounting for the country’s Covid-19 expenses in Parliament, Mr Ofori-Atta said, “in the area of free water and electricity for lifeline consumers, an amount of ¢200m was made available for free water and electricity for lifeline consumers, out of this, GH¢143m was utilised.”

It will be recalled that Ghana recorded its first two cases on 12 March 2020, and the government has since put in measures to reduce the strain caused by the novel virus.

The government had to support businesses and citizens who were reeling from the devastating impact of the pandemic.

Among the interventions were free water, subsidised electricity, health workers allowance, food, Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), GH¢600m support for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, and a GH¢1 billion Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP) business support scheme.

 

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