Ghana’s Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has refuted allegations that government has not been transparent with its Covid-19 expenditure.
Addressing Parliament on Wednesday, June 22, 2022, he stated all programmed, mobilised, and utilised finances concerning the coronavirus pandemic were duly mentioned in step with the government’s dedication to accountability and transparency.
His presentation comes at the back of the Minority NDC MP’s call for an audit into all Covid-19-associated expenses over discrepancies in authorities’s expenditure data. However, responding to questions, Mr Ofori-Atta stated government is transparent with its expenditure items and could maintain to perform an open-door policy and welcome any opportunity to interact withinside the national interest.
“Mr Speaker, at this juncture, I wish to dispel the notion that there have been inconsistencies in government data on Covid-19. The President intimated during that State of the Nation Address on March 30, 2022, that we had mobilised 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 mobilised Gh¢18.19 billion to mitigate the effect of the pandemic.
“Again, when the Vice President indicated on April 7, 2022, at the National TESCON Conference that government had spent Gh¢8.1 billion on Covid-19, it was within the context of expenditures for 2020 as I have already indicated,” the Minister said.
This, the Minister explained that out of the Gh¢18.19 billion expended to mitigate the impact of the pandemic, GH¢1,550 million was distributed under the Support to Households Programme, ¢1,049 million was allotted to health response-components equipment, and relief for health workers, ¢six hundred million was launched to start the construction throughout the country, and a in addition GH¢763.92 million has been released to continue the construction of the 111 district hospitals.
He stated the government additionally programmed a total amount of ¢875 million for security operations, evacuating Ghanaians stranded abroad and coordinating MMDAs’ sanitation and disinfection exercises. Additionally, he stated in keeping with measures to stabilise the economic system after the devastating effect of the Covid-19 pandemic, authorities applied programmes to revitalise the economic system and protect jobs.
This consists of the GH¢600 million utilised under Coronavirus Alleviation Programme Business Support Scheme (CAPBuSS) by the NBSSI, the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA). Regarding vaccine procurement, the Minister indicated that ¢929.30 million was allotted.
According to him, ¢775.82 million was released for getting Sputnik V, the Janssen COV SARS 2 Covid-19 Vaccines and the Emergency deployment of vaccines in schools, amongst different key government’s disbursements.