Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has reacted to claims that the government has not been transparent in its Covid-19 expenditure.
The Minister says the government has been transparent contrary to the assertions made by critics.
Addressing Parliament on Wednesday, June 22, 2022, he said all programmed, mobilised, and utilised funds on the coronavirus pandemic have been dully reported.
He said the report was premised on the government’s commitment to accountability and transparency.
“Mr Speaker, at this juncture, I wish to dispel the notion that there have been inconsistencies in government data on Covid-19. The President intimated during that State of the Nation Address on March 30, 2022, that we had mobilised about Gh¢17.7 billion since 2020 to fight the pandemic.
“We have subsequently reconciled the data and I can report that as of end-May, 2022, we have mobilised Gh¢18.19 billion to mitigate the effect of the pandemic. Again, when the Vice President indicated on April 7, 2022, at the National TESCON Conference that the government had spent Gh¢8.1 billion on Covid-19, it was within the context of expenditures for 2020 as I have already indicated,” the Minister said.
He revealed that out of the Gh¢18.19 billion expended to mitigate the effect of the pandemic, GH¢1,550 million was disbursed under the Support to Households Programme, GH¢1,049 million was allocated to health response-supplies equipment and relief for health workers, GH¢600 million was released to begin the construction across the country and a further GH¢763.92 million has been released to continue the construction of the 111 district hospitals.
He said the government also programmed a total amount of GH¢875 million for security operations, evacuation of Ghanaians stranded abroad and coordination of MMDAs’ sanitation and disinfection exercises.
On the issue of stabilising the economy, he said after the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the government implemented programmes to revitalise the economy and protect jobs. This includes the GH¢600 million utilised under Coronavirus Alleviation Programme Business Support Scheme (CAPBuSS) by the NBSSI, the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA).
On the vaccines, he explained that GH¢929.30 million was allocated. A total amount of GH¢775.82 million was released for the purchase of Sputnik V, the Janssen COV SARS 2 COVID Vaccines and the Emergency deployment of vaccines in schools among other key government disbursements.