Minority wants probe into gov’t’s COVID-19 expenditure

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The Minority Caucus in Parliament have called on the Auditor General for a probe in government’s spending on food and other relief packages under the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme.

The group, in a letter addressed to Daniel Yaw Domelevo, the Auditor General of Ghana, stated that some GHc280.3millon spent during the lockdown, need to be accounted for, adding, “the low coverage and haphazard implementation of the distribution of free hot meals and dry foods to the vulnerable groups, as well as the supply of water to deprived communities, gives us cause for concern that these funds were not utilized judiciously.”

The Minority at a press conference on Tuesday, noted their fear that the ruling party may have channelled the funds into their campaign for the upcoming elections.

The Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Casiel Ato Forson said at the meeting that a special audit into government’s expenditure under the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme was imperative given that some media reports suggested that state-sponsored COVID-19 relief items meant for the vulnerable, were being sold in the market by functionaries of the ruling party in Kumasi and other parts of the country.

“We have in our possession, an audio recording from Kumasi based Silva FM, in which market women at Tafo Pankrono have confirmed that eggs meant for the vulnerable under the CAP have been diverted and sold on the market by persons associated with certain government functionaries in the area,” he said.

But addressing the press on Thursday morning, Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah stated that the call by the Minority in Parliament is “premature” since the fight against COVID-19 is still ongoing and several interventions are still being instituted by the government.

“It will be prudent for all of these exercises to be completed and the accounts will be put together for the auditor general to do his standard audit, and if he believes there is a reason to go further to do a special audit, he may go further,” the minister said.

 

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