The Information Minister has slammed NDC MPs for demanding an audit into how government expended the Covid-19 Funds.
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said the request from the opposition into how ¢280.3 million was spent to distribute hot meals to the vulnerable during the lockdown period in parts of the country is only a distraction.
“We would not be distracted,” the Minister said at a press conference Thursday while updating the nation on government’s handling of the pandemic.
The Offoase Ayeribi MP said the minority’s call is premature since the financial year is not over and “the activities are still ongoing.”
He said the law enjoins public servants to prepare their accounts at the end of the financial year for auditing after which the Auditor-General can carry a special audit if he deems it necessary.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah argues that since the “accounts for the 2020 financial year are nowhere close to preparation,” it is prudent for all that to be compiled before the audit comes.
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta on April 8, presented the policy document on Covid-19 Alleviation Programme (CAP), seeking approval to spend ¢1.2 billion.
He explained that ¢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, Mr Ofori-Atta said ¢80 million will be spent on the allowance for health staff, ¢2million will be used to cover transportation for health workers ¢600 million will be disbursed as soft loans to businesses.
But the Minority said that it has almost been a month after the lockdown and the Akufo-Addo-led government has failed to provide 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 government.”