The Ranking Member of the Finance Committee of Parliament, Mr. Cassiel Ato Forson has accused the government of being allergic to public accountability.
Addressing a press briefing at the maiden edition of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Weekly Press Briefing in Accra on Monday, 1st June, 2020, the Member of Parliament for Ajumako Enyam Essiam Constituency said, Ghanaians must hold the government to account for huge financial resources entrusted into its hands during this Coronavirus pandemic era.
Hon. Ato Forson indicated that, government should not have waited for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to organize a press conference requesting for detailed expenditure on Coronavirus Alleviation Programme before doing the needful. Adding to that, he said, government must be able to provide data to Ghanaians on people who contributed to COVID-19 Trust Fund and what the fund has been used for.
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In briefing the media, the NDC revealed that, on 8th April, 2020, the Finance Minister, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, presented to the Finance Committee of Parliament the government’s Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP) in which he indicated that the government was going to spend GHC1.2 billion to cushion Ghanaians against the socio-economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to them, government is unable to make public the expenditure on the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP).
The National Democratic Congress added that, the Akufo-Addo’s government has failed in handling the coronavirus. According to them, the low coverage and haphazard implementation of interventions during the lockdown period, specifically the distribution of free hot meals and dry food to the vulnerable, as well as the supply of tankers of water to deprived households, give them the reasons for concern that the funds were not judiciously utilised by the government.
Mr. Ato Forson said, only last week, the NDC found out that the government is printing GH¢10 billion through the Bank of Ghana to finance the budget on the blind side of Parliament and without any legitimate justification.
“Indeed, Governor of the Bank of Ghana has confirmed that the first tranche of GH¢5.5 billion has already been advanced to the government in clear violation of the Bank of Ghana Act, 2002 (Act 612) and the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921).” Mr. Ato Forson said.
In summary, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has therefore called on the Auditor-General Mr. Daniel Yaw Domelevo to as a matter of urgency undertake a special audit into the GH¢280.3 million that was allocated by the government for the provision of food, water and sanitation under the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme.