Allow forensic audit of COVID-19 expenditure: Mahama dares Akufo-Addo

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Allow forensic audit of COVID-19 expenditure: Mahama dares Akufo-Addo

Would Akufo-Addo ever allow a forensic audit of COVID-19 expenditure as requested by John Mahama and the NDC?

 

Allow forensic audit of COVID-19 expenditure: Mahama dares Akufo-Addo

The former president of Ghana, John Mahama has dared the Akufo-Addo and his government to allow an independent forensic audit of the Covid-19 expenditures. The minority in parliament led by the National Democratic Congress has constantly called for details and accounts on the COVID-19 fund to be made public.

The Former President, John Dramani Mahama has indicated that he is convinced the Akufo-Addo-led government misused funds of the COVID-19 for the general elections held in 2020. According to him, this is the best chance Akufo-Addo has to prove himself right and Mahama wrong that the funds meant of Covid-19 were never used to finance the government’s 2020 election expenditure.

“The only way you can prove me wrong and say that that money was not used for election 2020 is to allow for an independent forensic audit into how the money we received during the COVID-19 pandemic was used. Prove me wrong”. The former president said. John Mahama made this call during at the ongoing 4th Summit of the NDC Professional Forum underway in the Ashanti Regional capital, Kumasi.

The NDC members of parliament have been knocking on the doors of the government to make the expenditures from the Covid-19 fund public, but to no avail. The NPP administration according to former president John Dramani Mahama orchestrated the plans that led to the throwing out of the Covid-19 investigation motion by the NDC parliamentarians.

Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, The Member of Parliament for North Tongu has on several occasions called on the government to make public COVID-19 expenditure and render an account to the good people of Ghana, however this has not materialized suggesting the government may be hiding something from the people of Ghana

Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa in an interview with Nana Aba Anamoah on Starr Chat Wednesday, 27th April 2022 said different figures relating to the same Covid-19 expenditure have been released by the government to the good people of Ghana. He disclosed that multiple figures given by the government on the country’s Covid-19 expenditures under their watch are in excess of 22 billion per the analysis of the NDC. He added that the NPP is blocking the accounting on covid-19 to be rendered.

The MP furthered that during the State of the Nation Address, President Akufo-Addo said the government spent 17.7 billion on Covid-19 however, Vice President Bawumia also disclosed that 8.1 billion was spent on the same item”. They spent on feeding in a few days, over 100 million dollars just for facemask and hand sanitizers,” the North Tongu MP disclosed on the show.

Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa furthered that, the ruling NPP government is not ready to account but is ready to tell the people they will account for Elevy every month. He indicated the government has failed to apply the same principle in reporting on all taxes “All taxes are taxes, the government must be accountable, the principle must be cut across at all times”, Ablakwa added during the interview.

During the sixth State of the Nation Address, the president was of the view that Ghana was among the few countries in Africa that managed the Covid-19 pandemic better and spent some GH¢17.7 billion thus 4.6% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on the pandemic.

During the pandemic, Ghana recruited an additional (58,191) healthcare professionals were recruited, and extra incentives such as exemption of their earnings from taxes were given to all frontline health workers to motivate them to give their best in the fight against the pandemic. In all, Ghana coughed an extra GH¢1.9 billion in the fight against covid-19. The extra expenditure was not planned, but the government had to show leadership to help protect not only the children and adults populace but also the teaching staff. These expenses further ensured that teachers and students returned to school safely during the pandemic. This ensured that children in Ghana did not lose an academic year as was the case in other countries where learners and teachers had to stay home for 20 months or more.

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According to data from the government, 5 million homes and not less than ten million (10 million) homes enjoyed the government’s free electricity and water interventions during the covid-19 pandemic.

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The call by the NDC and the John Dramani Mahama is a call for the expenditures made and stated above to be audited to ascertain the accuracy of the figures and whether the funds were used for the intended purpose as Ghanaians are being made to believe.  The current call by the former president is a challenge for the Akuffo Addo government to prove itself as the safest hand to protect the public purse. It is not clear why the government is unwilling to open up, and account to the good people of Ghana if it has nothing to hide. The longer it battles the National Democratic Congress, The Minority in Parliament, and former President John Mahama the more it cast doubts on its own statements of being the safest hands to protect the public purse.

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Will the ruling government led by Akufo Addo allow a forensic audit of COVID-19 expenditure as requested by John Mahama?

 

Source: Ghanawebnews.org

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