State of the Nation Address: Akufo-Addo Says Nothing Dishonorable Was Done With Covid-19 Funds

State of the Nation Address: Akufo-Addo Says Nothing Dishonorable Was Done With Covid-19 Funds

  • President Akufo-Addo has said Covid-19 funds have not been misapplied as has been suggested by a report by the Auditor General
  • The audit report into Covid-19 funds found that huge funds were paid to staff of the Ministry of Information as allowance during the lockdown
  • However, during his SONA presentation in Parliament on March 8, 2023, the president said any objective scrutiny will find that the funds were used judiciously to fight the pandemic

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Nana Akufo-Addo has used his State of the Nation Address (SONA) to address the sticky issue of how huge Covid-19 funds were used, stressing that the funds have not been misapplied.

In what was a bold declaration during his 2023 SONA on March 8, 2023, he told Parliament funds released to fight the pandemic in Ghana were used wisely.

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“Covid funds were not missed. It is critical that we do not lose the confidence of the people that the crisis we were all in together was being abused. Nothing dishonourable was done with Civid funds,” he assured.
Akufo-Addo has said his administration did not misapply funds during the Covid-19 period.
L-R: A view from the city of Accra as people wear face masks amid the coronavirus in 2020, and President Nana Akufo-Addo. Source: Getty Images.
Source: Getty Images

Akufo-Addo said the funds were judiciously used to roll out programmes that successfully tackled the raging pandemic in Ghana.

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Covid-19 spending brouhaha

The president's bold defence of his administration's use of Covid-19 funds follows a report by the Auditor-General that suggested that something untoward happened.

The audit report stated that senior management staff and other supporting staff of the Ministry of Information paid themselves a total amount of GH¢151,500.00 as risk allowance for the pandemic.

The allowance was paid to the staff of the ministry for coming to work during the lockdown, the audit report explained.

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This revelation has been criticised as a clear case of misappropriation of funds since such allowances were supposed to be paid to health workers and other critical staff.

That is not all, the report of the Auditor General also disclosed that the Ministry of Health (MoH) signed a contract for the supply of 26 Toyota Hiace Deluxe Ambulances valued at $4,049,460.12 but the vehicles have not been delivered despite huge sums of money released to pay for them..

But during his SONA on Wednesday, the president said any objective scrutiny of the funds would find no wrongdoing.

Akufo-Addo said for instance that frontline health workers were given 50% tax relief during the peak of the pandemic, while electricity and water tariffs were subsidised for Ghanaians.

Parliament to probe National Cathedral project

Meanwhile, has reported in a separate story that Parliament will begin probing allegations of corruption against the controversial National Cathedral project.

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This is after Speaker Alban Bagbin admitted a private member's motion filed by Minority Leader on Friday, March 3, 2023.

The parliamentary committee will probe the controversial project and all related matters and return to the plenary with a recommendation.

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