The President of the Institute for Security, Disaster and Emergency Studies, Dr Ishmael Norman, has described as wrong the approach by government in announcing the $100 million fund for the fight against coronavirus.
In a nationwide broadcast last Wednesday, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo directed the Minister of Finance to devote $100 million to enhance the country’s preparedness in the possible outbreak of the virus.
The fund, among others, is to expand infrastructure and purchase materials and equipment for public education.
Just a day after the announcement, Ghana confirmed its first cases of the deadly virus.
Speaking on TV3’s Saturday news analysis programme The Key Points, Dr Norman commended government for the amount involved as he said it is way above that initially pledged for the fight – $2,500,000.
‘The approach is wrong’
He had described that amount as a “biggest joke” at a Media General forum held last month.
“I think this time government is trying to get it right,” he acknowledged on Saturday, March 14.
He said $100 million is a lot though may not be enough.
But he indicated: “The approach is wrong”.
He said the 1992 constitution clearly gives guidelines as to how emergencies should be handled.
He said the president needed to have sought the approval of Parliament before devoting such an amount of money for the fight of Covid-19.
President Akufo-Addo should have stated how the money will be spent, Dr Norman indicated for example.
The former member of the US army said it is not a formality for government to devote money in the face of emergencies and that there are protocols and laws guiding such.
“What is the plan of spending this money? How did they arrive at this amount?” he quizzed.
But the Head of Public Health at the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Badu Sarkodie, who was also on the programme, commended government for the gesture.
He said it is a reassurance from government and he believes the Service may even go back for more.