The member of Parliament for the North Tongu Constituency and the ranking member of the foreign affairs committee of Parliament, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwah has raised concerns on the criteria used Government to assess those requiring support to be evacuated back to Ghana due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
During the mid-year budget presentation in Parliament, minister for finance Mr. Ken Ofori Atta announced the launch of an “Operation Return Home Programme” to address the challenge of stranded Ghanaians abroad due to COVID-19 related border closures.
However, Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has raised seven concerns on how planned evacuation program by the government and added that the Minority shall demand answers to his questions and many more when the Mid-Year Review debate commences in Parliament next week.
Below are the Seven issue raised by the ranking member of the foreign affairs committee in Parliament, Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa;
1) Why is government paying for some Ghanaians to return home and leaving others to foot the entire cost of flight and quarantine at no mean charges?
2) Why were some students evacuated at no cost while other students had to pay for their evacuation?
3) Why were some students not given the opportunity to be evacuated despite incessant appeals?
4) What is the criteria used by government to assess those requiring support?
5) Why has government not published the criteria for qualifying for government evacuation support in the spirit of transparency and fairness?
6) Why did the Mid-Year Review not provide information on specifically how much has been spent so far evacuating the category of Ghanaians airlifted at tax payer’s expense?
7) Why is government refusing to permit Ghanaians stranded in neighbouring West African countries desirous of returning home at no cost whatsoever to the tax payer to return? Are Ghanaians stranded in Ivory Coast, Benin, Togo and Burkina Faso not part of the “Operation Return Home Programme?”