- NDC parliamentarians have punched holes in the Covid-19 account rendered by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta on Wednesday
- The MPs say the minister's figures conflicted with previous ones provided by President Nana Akufo-Addo during the State of the Nation Address
- Meanwhile, a deputy finance minister has debunked claims of a lack of transparency in government's accounting for the Covid-19 funds
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Opposition NDC MPs in Parliament have accused the president and the finance minister of providing conflicting accounts of how Covid-19 funds were spent.
They say both Nana Akufo-Addo and Ken Ofori-Atta have given different figures of how funds were used to mitigate the impact of the pandemic that hit the country in 2020.
On Wednesday, the finance minister presented a statement on Covid-19 spending to MPs after rescheduling many times. Ken Ofori-Atta told Parliament that a little over GH¢19 billion was received to fight the pandemic. He said GH¢12 billion had been used so far.
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But commenting on the Minister's presentation in Parliament, Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, said he had detected some inconsistencies.
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"The Minister at Page 4 in his statement accounts for GH¢19.3 billion as programme support received then Mr. Speaker when you come to expenditure on Covid, he accounts for GH¢12 billion; then the president accounts for GH¢17.7 billion. So where is the missing money? GH¢17.7 billion against GH¢12 billion, where is the money?" he demanded.
Ad hoc committee
Another NDC MP, Dr Casiel Ato Forson, also said the account rendered by the Minister was not thorough and urged the Speaker, Alban Bagbin, to set up an ad hoc committee to probe the expenditures. He said a breakdown of the spending was necessary.
The Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam MP and former Deputy Minister of Finance said the government agencies that used the funds released by the Finance Ministry should be hauled before the committee to clarify the expenditure.
"We cannot sit here and say the Minister of Finance should be the only one accounting for the Covid amount. The Minister responsible for Finance is only a conduit for releasing the money. But the monies were spent at various MDAs," Dr Forson stressed.
No missing funds
Meanwhile, one of the deputy finance ministers, John Kumah, has denied the claim that there have been conflicting statements on how the Covid funds were utilised.
He told Joy News on Wednesday, June 22, 2022, that his boss gave a slightly different figure from the president's because of where some of the funds were drawn.
He explained that the exclusion of some of the funds was justified by the fact that they did not go through the channel of the Consolidated Fund and hence were not allocated by the finance minister.
"There's nothing inconsistent about what the Minister said here and what the constitution is providing especially when it is to do with Consolidated Fund. Now the Minister is saying I'm accounting for funds that have come through the Consolidated Fund," he explained.
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Akufo-Addo urges global community to help Africa recover from Russia-Ukraine war
YEN.com.gh has reported in other news that Nana Akufo-Addo has urged the global community to help Ghana and other African countries to recover from the Covid-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war.
Delivering a keynote address at the 15th edition of the European Development Days on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, the president asked the global community to increase support for developing countries.
He said such support would help countries withstand the devastations caused by the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
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