Ghana’s COVID-19 expenditure keeps shrinking; from GH¢17b, now it is GH¢12b – Adongo

Isaac Adongo bemoans inconsistencies in Ghana’s COVID-19 financial records

Finance Minister has failed to account for GH¢10b COVID-19 funds – MP

Minority calls for a probe into Ghana’s COVID-19 expenditure

Bolgatanga Central MP, Dr Isaac Adong, has bemoaned inconsistencies in the government’s records on Ghana’s COVID-19 expenditure.

He said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo indicated that Ghana’s COVID-19 expenditure was GH¢17.7 billion; previous figures presented by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta also pointed to the expenditure being GH¢22 billion, and now the minister is saying that the expenditure is GH¢12 billion.

Speaking on the floor of Parliament on Wednesday, Dr Adongo added that the inconsistencies in the reportage on the COVID-19 fund send a signal to the international community that Ghana is not a serious country.

“… the president stated that we spent GH¢17.7 billion. It cannot be the case that today you are reporting that you spent GH¢12 billion (months after the president spoke)… as a matter of fact, we expect a better record to be showing that it is more than GH¢17.7 billion. So, right away, we become very confused that the numbers are now reversing backwards, from GH¢17.7 billion to GH¢12 billion… if we make a mistake and we call him tomorrow, it (COVID-19 expenditure) will be GH¢9 billion.

“From the minister’s own document before this house, he is unable to speak to his own numbers a year after… if I take the numbers the minister is reporting for 2021 that he spent GH¢3.9 and I add it to the figure he gave for 2020 (GH¢18.1 billion, which he stated in the 2022 budget), Mr Speaker, I get total expenditure on COVID of GH¢ 22.1 billion… the minister is not reporting to us GH¢10 million of our own money,” Dr Adongo said.

The Bolgatanga MP, therefore, added his voice to calls by the minority caucus of Parliament for the setting up of a special committee to probe the COVID-19 expenditure of the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in other to ensure accountability.

Ken Ofori-Atta, on the floor of Parliament on Wednesday, June 22, 2022, added that data collected as of May 2022 indicated that Ghana raised over GH¢18 billion to fight COVID-19.

The minister added that the government had spent about GH¢12.04 billion of the GH¢18.19 billion to contain the spread and mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on lives and livelihoods.