Ablakwa exposes conflicting cost on evacuated Ghanaians; Demands forensic audit

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Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa

• Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has exposed conflicting cost on evacuated Ghanaians.

• The Foreign Affairs Minister presented a conflicting cost on evacuated Ghanaian nationals as compared to the amount captured in the 2021 Budget.

• North Tongu MP demands for a special forensic audit into all related Covid-19 expenditures. 

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The Ranking Member of Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee Mr. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa is demanding an urgent commissioning of special forensic audit to investigate all Coronavirus related expenditure in Ghana.

The North Tongu Constituency Member of Parliament made the request after he disclosed a shocking and conflicting cost presented by Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey on evacuated Ghanaian nationals.

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Mr. Ablakwa in a statement sighted by Coverghana.com.gh said, It has emerged in Parliament following the Foreign Minister’s response to his question on cost of evacuations that KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Middle East Airlines and Emirates Airlines evacuated Ghanaians from the UAE and China for $396 per passenger and also airlifted our compatriots in Lebanon at $269 per person.

However, our own Casa aircraft operated by the Ghana Air Force somehow managed to evacuate Ghanaians from neighboring West and Central Africa at a staggering cost to the taxpayer of $940 per passenger.

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The North Tongu MP said, it seems to him that foreign airlines were more empathetic to the plight of stranded Ghanaians than the aircraft managed by our own government.

Strangely, whereas government says it spent GH¢46,398,452 on Ghanaians from Lebanon at page 273 of the 2021 Budget, the Foreign Minister accounted for less than GH¢25million of that amount in Parliament on Thursday. No one knows what happened to the over GH¢21million missing as she couldn’t provide satisfactory answers to my supplementary questions despite her best efforts.

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The Ranking Member noted that when you also consider that government claims to have spent a colossal GH¢44,460,530 which in some cases translates to as much as GH¢9,139 on the cost of quarantine for an individual, it becomes ever more imperative that a special forensic audit is commissioned on all COVID-19 related expenditure.

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He further disclosed that, “obviously, the Sputnik-V scandal, the Frontiers heist; the shocking GH¢54.3million for cooked food during the lockdown are not isolated cases. We need a comprehensive forensic audit NOW!”

SOURCE: Coverghana.com.gh

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