The Minority in Parliament says President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s rejection of reports that government blatantly misapplied funds intended for the country’s fight against COVID-19 is disappointing.
The Auditor General in its 2020 report on the government’s COVID-19 expenses revealed that out of the US$ 2.5 billion mobilised for the fight against the pandemic, only 25 percent representing GH¢5.5 million was used on health.
According to violations cited in the audit report by the Auditor General, the Information Ministry improperly compensated its employees GH¢151,500 for COVID-19 insurance while failing to deliver $81 million worth of government-paid vaccines.
The state among other things is said to have spent US$607,419.02 out of US$4,049,460.12 for the acquisition of 26 ambulances, but the vehicles were never delivered.
According to the report, the remainder of the monies was spent on government programmes such as Free SHS, LEAP among others.
But President Akufo-Addo presenting the State of Nation Address on March 8, 2023, noted that the COVID funds were not misused.
“The economic consequences of the pandemic have been devastating. It is precisely because the economic fallout from the pandemic was so widespread and long-lasting that it is important to show clearly that the COVID funds were not misused. It is critical that we do not lose the confidence of the people that a crisis that they were led to believe we were all in together was abused for personal gain,” the President said.
Reacting to the matter, Minority Chief Whip, Kwame Governs Agbodza said the President’s comment on the issue came to them as a surprise.
“I’m somehow extremely disappointed in the President who sought once again to even clear members of his government who are suspected of doing wrong things in the COVID-19 expenditure.
“It doesn’t lie in the mouth of the President to decide to become an auditor of his own government by pretending that nothing went wrong with the COVID expenditure. Mr. President you are not an auditor, leave that to the professionals to do,” Minority Chief Whip said.