Ranking Member on the Finance Committee Ato Forson (Left) and the Auditor General, Daniel Domelevo (Right)

The Minority Caucus of Parliament has officially petitioned the Auditor General’s Department to conduct a special audit into how the ¢280.3 million, allocated for relief items during the lockdown period was spent by government.

The petition which was jointly signed by the Ranking Member on Parliament’s Finance Committee, Cassiel Ato Forson and the Minority Chief Whip, Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka indicated that audit will clear the allegations and justify how the funds were utilised.

“Honourable Auditor General, the Minority Caucus in Parliament with the responsibility of ensuring the judicious utilization of state resources, in accordance with Section 16 of the Audit Service Act, 2000 (Act 584), as provided, calls on you to undertake a Special Audit into the expenditure on the ¢280.3 million that was allocated for the provision of food and water under the Coronavirus Alleviation Program (CAP),” they wrote in the petition.

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta on April 8, presented the policy document on CAP, seeking approval to spend ¢1.2 billion.

According to Ken Ofori Atta, ¢280 million will go into food packages and hot meals while ¢40 million to the National Buffer Stock Company.

An additional ¢200 million will be used to cater for bills on water and sanitation, ¢241 million will cover tax waiver for health personnel.

Explaining further, he said ¢80 million will be spent on the allowance for health staff, two million cedis will be used to cover transportation for health workers ¢600 million will be disbursed as soft loans to businesses.

But the Minority stresses that it has almost been a month after the lockdown and the Akufo-Addo-led government has failed to furnish the nation with the expenditure of the funds.

They further accused the functionaries of the incumbent government of misappropriating the funds meant for the vulnerable.

“The low coverage and haphazard implementation of the distribution of free meals and dry foods to the vulnerable groups, as well as the supply of water to deprived communities, gives us cause for concern that the funds were not utilized judiciously by the government.”