A Private Legal Practitioner has described the presentation in Parliament by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, on how government utilized the COVID-19 funds as more or less a practical joke gone horribly wrong.
Lawyer Edudzi Tamakloe believes the finance minister lied to the House and Ghanaians because they have already expended the funds for their personal gains.
Speaking on Okay Fm's Ade Akye Abia programme, Edudzi, who is an aide to former President John Dramani Mahama, explained that both the president and the vice president have been giving varying figures about how COVID 19 funds were utilized.
"The finance minister turned up in parliament because he feared the ramifications of his actions if he totally refused to honour the invitation of the House. What the finance minister did in parliament does not account for an audit. The NPP, when they were in opposition clamored for probity and accountability and even accused the former president of being the worse corrupt government in the history of the country.
"The party that upheld the principle of probity and accountability has refused to apply same in accounting for the donated COVID 19 funds," he stated.
The NDC activist further stated that he was surprised the finance minister could go to parliament and massage figures on how the COVID 19 funds was spent since a vice chairperson of the ruling party had already expose their activities by publicly disclosing that funds raised during the pandemic was shared among party members.
"In the 2021 mid year budget review appendix 4b, the finance minister narrated how he spent COVID 19 money without giving a proper breakdown of how for example a 100 million covid-19 cash was given out for the reopening of schools. So is he trying to tell us he never questioned how the monies were used?
"The people of Ghana deserve a better presentation of how the COVID 19 monies were expended by the finance minister. You can not go to parliament and give vague figures without a proper breakdown of how COVID 19 cash was used," Edudzi Tamakloe fumed.
Finance Minister Goes To Parliament Over COVID 19 Cash
The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has explained that claims that the government had not been transparent with its COVID-19 expenditure are not the case, as widely perceived by Members of Parliament from the minority caucus.
Addressing Parliament, the Minister said all programmed, mobilised and utilised funds pertaining to the coronavirus pandemic had been dully reported in line with government’s commitment to accountability and transparency.
His justification comes on the back of the Minority MPs’ demand for an audit into all COVID-19 related expenses in view of what they claim as discrepancies in the government’s expenditure data.
Responding to questions, Mr Ofori-Atta categorically stated that government was transparent in its expenditure items, and would continue to operate an open-door policy.
“Mr. Speaker, at this juncture, I wish to dispel the notion that there have been inconsistencies in government data on COVID-19. His Excellency, the President intimated during the State of the Nation Address on March 30, 2022, that we had mobilised about Gh¢17.7 billion since 2020 to fight the pandemic.