Parliament has approved the Covid-19 National Trust Fund Bill 2020.

The approval under certificate of urgency late Thursday evening happened about 24 hours after Attorney General Gloria Akuffo laid it in parliament on Wednesday evening.

Covid-19 Trust Fund
Attorney General Gloria Akuffo

The bill will give legal backing to the establishment of the Covid-19 National Trust Fund to complement the efforts of government in the fight against the disease.

The fund will be used, among other things, to support the vulnerable and needy who have been affected by the pandemic.

It will also be used to support persons including frontline medical personnel and volunteers engaged in the combat of Covid-19.

The fund will receive and manage contributions and donations from well-meaning individuals, groups and corporate bodies. The monies will be paid into a bank account to be opened for the fund.

A board of trustees to be appointed by the president would monitor and evaluate the operations and performance of the fund.

The board will define the appropriate procedures for disbursement of monies from the fund and perform other functions incidental to the attainment of objectives of the fund.

The fund will have a secretariat to be headed by an administrator. The fund will be exempt from tax.

The fund will be required to establish an internal audit unit to be headed by an internal auditor to ensure transparency.

The fund shall exist for as long as the president finds necessary. Where the president of the republic is satisfied that there is no longer need for the fund, the board of trustees shall ensure that any monies  in the bank account of the fund is transferred to the Consolidated Fund.

Any other assets acquired for and on behalf of the fund will then be transferred to the appropriate state agencies as determined by the Finance Minister before it winds up. 

The bill is categorical that any monies  or resources donated to government to combat Covid-19 before the establishment of the fund, shall within 14 days after the coming into force of this act be transferred or deposited into the bank account established for the fund.

Parliament’s Constitution, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee proposed 22 amendments to the 15-page bill which were speedily debated and approved within 3 hours.

The bill now awaits presidential assent.