Prof. Godfred Bokpin, an economist, has stated how the current economic difficulties the nation is experiencing are also due to costs associated with the 2020 elections.
According to him, the administration overspent using COVID-19 funding. Consequently, Ghana’s fiscal deficit would soar in 2020.
He was addressing concerns on the Auditor General’s report on the government’s use of COVID funding.
Prof. Bokpin gave many explanations for the scathing audit findings, including “lack of value for money, COVID vaccinations that were paid for but not provided, and certain COVID-related inflows that were instead channeled into general budget assistance, among others.
“Why was that so, because COVID also happened in the year of elections, so government was abusing public finance in the name of COVID-19,” he emphasized.
He said that the administration “took advantage of the COVID and overspent, and our budgetary deficit… in fact, Ghana’s fiscal deficit was the biggest in the sub-region.”
He said that whereas neighboring countries were operating at or below 8% of GDP in 2020, Ghana was operating at or over 15%.
So, he said, “you can also trace the current issue we have here to the election-related excesses of 2020 that administration blamed on COVID.”
A report on government spending during the COVID-19 epidemic spanning the period from March 2020 to June 2022 was published by the Auditor-General.
According to Section 16 of the Audit Service Act, 2000 (Act 584) for submission to Parliament, the special audit report has been created.
It included information on the numerous expenditures that Ministries, Departments, and Agencies made during the time period in question.
The Ministry of Finance mobilized a total of GH19,112,318,205.12 in 2020 to lessen the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to documents on COVID-19 funding at the Ministry of Finance, Controller and Accountant-General, and Ministry of Health, the report noted.
According to the data, GH 1,978,551,137.46 and GH 753,319,842.66 (up to June 2022) were raised to fund the Ghana COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan and the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme, respectively.
A total of GH21,844,189,185.24 was raised to help Ghana lessen the effects of the COVID-19 epidemic.