NDC Calls On Prez Akufo-Addo Sack Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Ken, Health Minister Over Misapplication Of Covid-19 Funds
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has called on President Akufo-Addo to immediately fire the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta, and Health Minister Kwaku Agyemang Manu.
Addressing a press conference at the party’s headquarters on Wednesday, February 1, 2023, under the “Moment of Truth” series, the NDC’s National Communications Officer, Sammy Gyamfi outlined what he described as 15 ‘shocking revelations’ contained in the report of the Auditor-General.
Mr Sammy Gyamfi also called on the President of the Republic to fire the CEO of the National Buffer Stock Company and all other officials who have been cited in the Auditor General’s report.
According to him, these state officials have violated the laws of the country in their expenditure of covid-19 funds as revealed by the Auditor-General’s report.
The NDC accused the government on the bases of the Auditor General’s report of advertently misapplying the huge amount of money accrued from various sources to fight the pandemic.
He said the AG’s report indicates that the government accumulated a sum total of GHC21,844,189 which excludes other Covid related funds such as the one established by the government and an extra US$1 billion disbursed to developing countries by the IMF to fight the pandemic.
The party called for the head of the Health Minister, Kwaku Agyemang Manu for impropriety in the purchase of vaccines worth $120,192,379.80 from UNICEF/AVAT after the Auditor-General disclosed that vaccines valued at only $38,322,000 were supplied to the National Cold Storage, meaning $81.8 million worth of vaccines is yet to be delivered.
Mr Sammy Gyamfi highlighted how the report revealed a transaction made through a middleman by the Ministry of Health for vaccines under the watch of Kwaku Agyemang Manu the Minister in charge and never received those vaccines paid for.
The party also condemned the use of GH¢10.3 million to purchase Special Life Insurance Cover for 10,000 frontline Health Workers without evidence of a Life Insurance Policy document and a list of beneficiaries.
The leadership of Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives have been lamenting over how the government has failed to fulfil its promises made to them in the area of insurance coverage and 50% base payment allowance as frontline health workers.
Meanwhile, President Akufo-Addo had earlier announced the government’s commitment to ensure the safety of the health workers and all other frontline workers.
Labelling the Akufo-Addo government as a “monument of waste and corruption”, Mr Gyamfi howled how a contractor working on a holding, treatment, and isolation centre at Nalerigu in the North East Region received advanced payments amounting to US$4.5 million, and subsequently abandoned work on the $15 million facility.
The NDC Communications Officer also reacted to an amount of GHC11. 9 million paid to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to pay caterers who handled food distribution during the three weeks lockdown period without valid receipt under the watch of the then Minister, Hon. Adwoa Sarfo.
Elaborating on the finding of the report on invoices received from various suppliers for the supply of food to the National Food Buffer Stock Company, the party cited the Chief Executive Officer of the National Food Buffer Stock Company for what it calls over-invoicing of waybills, thereby occasioning a loss of GH¢1,406,085.00. The party is therefore calling for the refund of the said funds into the state’s coffers.
He also expressed shock about an amount of GHC151000 disbursed to the Ministry of Information as covid-19 risk allowance without approval.
“It has also emerged that at the height of the pandemic when frontline workers complained about the lack of PPEs with some even losing their lives, senior management and supporting staff of the Ministry of Information were busy paying themselves a total amount of GHC151,000 as Covid-19 risk allowance without approval”.
He questioned that “what risk did Kojo Oppong Nkrumah and these staff of the Ministry of Information face to warrant the sharing of such colossal amount of money among themselves as risk allowance”.
He added that “what is even more bizarre is the findings of the Auditor-General that allowances totalling GHC811, 800 were paid to staff of the Information Ministry without adequate supporting documents. The Auditor-General noted that apart from expenditure memos and signed sheets, there were no activities or programs reported to support and authenticate these allowances”.
Mr Gyamfi on behalf of the party called on the Public Account Committee of Parliament to speed up its public hearing into covid-19 funds televised live for public view.
The party also called on Parliament to compel the Auditor General to exercise surcharge and disallowance to “retrieve all COVID-19 funds that have been misapplied or misused through various infractions and veritable acts of criminality”.
The NDC charged the Auditor-General to put his powers to work insisting that it is not enough to investigate and publish the report without action.
The party also called on the Office of the Special Prosecutor to immediately begin investigating all Ministers and public officials cited in the Auditor General’s report for wrongdoing and bring them to book.
Source: Opemsuo.com/ Effah Mensah William.