Ranking Member on Parliament’s Health Committee, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, has accused government of falsifying figures, regarding its expenditure on the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to him, based on the records available to Parliament, the claim by government that it has spent GHC17.7 billion on the pandemic so far, is deceptive.
Speaking on the floor of Parliament on Friday, the NDC lawmaker therefore expressed his reservations about the alleged manipulation of figures, regarding government’s expenditure on the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The records, Mr. Speaker available to this House, and again with your permission, I’ll want to refer you to the Budget Statement for 2021. Mr. Speaker, if you go to page 274 of the 2021 Budget, the utilisation with respect to COVID-19 is 18.19 billion Ghana Cedis.
This 2021 Budget was reporting on the expenditure of 2020, and not 2021, Mr. Speaker. So we spent more than 18 billion on COVID in 2020 alone, Mr. Speaker. How can the President say that we have spent 17.7 on COVID since 2020?”, he quizzed.
In giving the particulars of the government’s expenditure on the pandemic, the Juaboso MP said, “If you put it together, unless the President is mathematically challenged, that can never be 17. 7 billion”.
Mr. Mintah Akandoh also expressed his surprise about the country’s inability to conduct antigen tests at the Kotoka International Airport, despite government’s huge expenditure.
“As I speak to you now, there are front line health workers we’re still owing in this country, and we have spent over 20 billion on COVID”, he stressed.
But in a sharp rebuttal, Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu rejected the claim. In his view, the figures contained in the Budget are provisional and does not reflect the actuals.
He explained that the Ministry will, in subsequent days, release the actual figures expended on the Covid-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, regarding the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ghana, government has relaxed the safety protocols in the country. In an address on March 27, President Akufo-Addo announced that, the wearing of face masks is no longer a mandatory requirement for citizens.
According to the President, citizens who have been fully vaccinated can go about their regular activities without the wearing of face masks.
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