The National Democratic Congress (NDC) says it will retrieve all illegal COVID-Funds which were deliberately paid to some institutions and individual as captured in the Auditors-General report.
It has therefore, urged the government to make effort recoup these monies, and as well fire those involved before power changes hands in 2024.
The National Communication Officer of the party, Mr Sammy Gyamfi who said this to the press yesterday in Accra, urged Parliament to compel the Auditor -General to exercise his power of surcharge and disallowance to retrieve all these funds which has been misapplied or misused through dubious means.
He the party is also calling on the Special Prosecutor to investigate all ministers and public officials who had been cited in the report for wrongdoing and bring them to book.
“These notwithstanding, the report observed that out of the total amount of GH¢21.8 billion that accrued to the Government of Ghana, only GH¢11, 750,683,059.11 was spent on COVID-19 activities, while the rest of the money (precisely GH¢10, 093,506,126.13) was spent on so-called “budget support”.
The animal call “budget support” as we would later realise, was “the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government’s euphemism for their reckless and wasteful election-driven expenses which resulted in an unprecedented budget deficit of 15.7 per cent in the year 2020,” he said.
Mr Gyamfi said the NDC were very concerned that despite the dire economic crises confronting the nation, the government had neglected and failed to retrieve these millions of funds, which could have been channeled into other developmental ventures to ameliorate the plight of suffering Ghanaians.
He said “reckless misuse of COVID-19 funds” by the government did not come to the party as a surprise, given the fact that the insurance company that got 30 per cent of the booty was Enterprise Insurance, a company closely associated with the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta.
He said it was even more bizarre, as the finding by the Auditor-General revealed that allowances totalling GH¢811,800 were paid to staff of the Information Ministry without adequate supporting documents.
“The Auditor-General noted that apart from expenditure memos and signed sheets, there were no activity or program reports to support and authenticate the allowances paid.
The Minister of Information and his staff must immediately refund these unjustifiable payments to the state coffers or be held to account,” Mr Gyamfi said.
He said these revelations had come at a time of excruciating hardships for Ghanaians occasioned by high tax payments, hyper inflation of 54.1 per cent and an ever-increasing rate of unemployment.
“As we speak, government has announced a total freeze on public sector employment while our secondary schools are battling with hunger due to shortage of food supplies from the Government.
Our children don’t even have access to basic curricular-based text books almost four years after the introduction of a new curricular and a total freeze on public sector employment,” he said.
Mr Gyamfi said the NDC had always maintained that the manner in which COVID-19 funds were expended by the government spelt doom for the economy, which had plunged the country into bankruptcy.
He said the party immediately demands the sacking of the Minister of Finance, Health Minister, Kweku Agyeman-Manu, the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the CEO of the National Food Buffer Stock Company and all other officials who had been cited in the report for violating the laws of the country in their expenditure of COVID-19 funds.
BY BERNARD BENGHAN