We Didn’t Use COVID-19 As Cover For Corrupt Practices – Akufo-Addo

President Nana Akufo-Addo has said that the COVID-19 pandemic was not used as a conduit by the government to siphon money or engage in corruption.

It will be recalled that Ghana recorded its first two cases on March 12, 2020, and the government 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, subsidized 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.

However, three years on, Ghanaians and some international institutions have called for accountability.

In the latest update on Ghana’s enhanced response to the COVID-19 pandemic, President Akufo-Addo said on Sunday, May 28:

“Let me make it clear that COVID expenditures, essentially unplanned, have been subject, at my instigation, to audit by the Auditor-General, and are going through parliamentary processes. We all deserve to be reassured that the crisis was not used as a cover for corrupt practices.

“The COVID Health Recovery Levy that was introduced to help fill some of the expenditure holes might not be the most popular tax, but I entreat all of you to bear with us. The COVID Trust Fund has performed an invaluable service and, with these developments, has reached the end of its mandate. I thank the trustees as well as all donors and contributors to the fund”.

The Minority in Parliament had been vocal in demanding a breakdown of the expenditure, accusing the government of embarking on a hidden agenda.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has also asked the government to expedite efforts to conclude an audit on its COVID-19 expenditure.

In its July 2021 Article IV Consultation Report on Ghana, the IMF “encouraged the timely completion of the planned audit of COVID‑19 emergency spending and new expenditure arrears.”

Earlier, on March 30, 2022, President Akufo-Addo, in his State of the Nation Address (SoNA), said a total of Gh¢17.7 billion from the COVID-19 Trust Fund had been spent.

However, on Wednesday, June 22, 2022, Finance Minister Mr Ken Ofori-Atta clarified.

“Mr. Speaker, at this juncture, I wish to dispel the notion that there have been inconsistencies in government data on COVID-19. During that State of the Nation Address on March 30 2022, the President intimated that we had mobilized about Gh¢17.7 billion since 2020 to fight the pandemic.

“We have subsequently reconciled the data, and I can report that as of end-May, 2022, we have mobilized Gh¢18.19 billion to mitigate the effect of the pandemic,” he told parliament.

Out of the Gh¢18.19 billion of a programmed GH¢19.3 billion in 2020 from various funding sources, Mr Ofori-Atta said GH¢1,550 million was disbursed under the Support to Households Programme, GH¢1,049 million was allocated to health response-supplies equipment and relief for health workers, GH¢600 million was released to begin the construction across the country and a further GH¢763.92 million has been released to continue the construction of the 111 district hospitals.

Meanwhile, an Auditor-General’s report has revealed some infractions in the government’s expenditure for COVID-19 from March 2020 to June 2022.

Some of the infractions that were uncovered include; paying a total of US$607,419.02 out of US$4,049,460.12 for the purchase of 26 ambulances that were never delivered, paying unapproved GH ₵151,500 by the Information Ministry to its own staff as Covid insurance, and paying for $80 million worth of vaccines by the government that was never delivered, amongst others.

This prompted former Auditor-General Daniel Domelevo to demand drastic sanctions against individuals involved in the uncovered expenditure infractions.


Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.

You might also like
where to buy viagra buy generic 100mg viagra online
buy amoxicillin online can you buy amoxicillin over the counter
buy ivermectin online buy ivermectin for humans
viagra before and after photos how long does viagra last
buy viagra online where can i buy viagra