March 8, 2023

Akufo-Addo: Nothing Dishonourable Happened With Covid Funds

The President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has defended his appointees supervising the various Ministries against the embezzlement of covid funds.



Contrary to the recent audit report, the President said there was no foul play in the utilisation of the funds.


According to the report of the Auditor-General, Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu, GH¢21,844,189,185.24 was mobilised by the finance ministry to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ghana. 


Irregularities With Health Ministry

 The audit found that the Ministry of Health paid US$120,192,379.80 to UNICEF/AVAT for the supply of vaccines to the country, however, just 5,109,600.00 doses of vaccines worth US$38,322,000.00 were supplied.



Additionally, the Ministry issued medical equipment estimated at US$110,088.00 to Christleads & Specialist Hospital- a private hospital owned by one Dr C. K. Amenuveve at Madina- with no relation to COVID-19.



The equipment included, Patient Monitor, Oxygen Tube for Patient Monitor, IV Stand, Linen Trolley, Nebulizer Set, Oxygen Concentrator, Oxygen Nasal Prongs, Pulse Oximeter Desktop, Suction Machine, Syringe Pump, ECG Machine, ECG Paper, Examination Couch, Examination Lamps, ICU Beds, Hospital Beds, Bedside Cabinet, Infusion Pump, Vital Sign Monitors, Autoclave Machine and Radiant Warmer.



Irregularities With Finance Ministry

The auditor in his scrutiny of the Finance Ministry’s disbursements found that 102 payments to some service providers during the period under review were made outside the Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS), contrary to Regulation 61 of the Public Financial Management Regulations, 2019 (L.I. 2378).



“We observed that in 2020, 102 payment vouchers were used in disbursing GH¢231,150,955.97 to service providers for the provision of hotel accommodations, evacuations of Ghanaians, supply of fuel and transfer of funds to MDAs. We, however, noted that the payments to service providers were made outside the GIFMIS platform. Similarly, in 2021, 92 payment vouchers were used to pay GH¢311,907,753.13 for PPEs, hotel accommodation and fumigation by resorting to the use of manual cash books on excel spreadsheets and manual cheques other than GIFMIS.”



Prez Defence

But addressing Parliament on March 8, 2023, the President said Covid funds were utilised efficiently.


 “Nothing dishonourable was done with covid funds”, he said.


According to him, any independent probe on the health and finance ministries will corroborate his statement.



Source: Fuseini

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