Minority calls for an investigation on covid expenditure by an adhoc Committee
Adhoc Committee to investigate the expenditures on the covid funds
The Minority in Parliament has called for an Adhoc Committee to investigate the expenditures on the covid funds as presented by the finance minister to ascertain the validity of the information presented by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta Parliament.
After several attempts to get the finance minister to render an account on the covid funds, the minister finally appeared today, Wednesday, June 22, 2022, to present the same which the minority described as inconsequential with the truth. According to the minority, the account presented by the minister falls short of the true picture of the fact of the amount accrued in the account of the covid funds.
Ranking Member on the finance committee of Parliament, Honourable Cassiel Ato Forson said the minister has not been able to properly account in specifics terms of how much has accrued in the account, how the amount had been expended, and how much is available in the coffers.
The minority leader, Honourable Haruna Iddrisu also shares the same opinion on an Adhoc Committee investigations to enable to be real accountability. The minister responded to the call of Parliament as per the standing order 70. But the Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Honorable Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin said contrary to what the minister was invited to do, he rather briefed the House and therefore supported the call for an investigation of the account.
But declined the Minority's call for an adhoc Committee and however, stated that Parliament has many Committees to investigate the same hence there was no need for an Adhoc Committee. He so directed that the committee on Finance supported by the Health Committee investigate the expenditures on the covid funds and report back to Parliament on the first week of October 2022. The finance minister upon appearing before Parliament gave the status of an update on covid 19 expenditure for 2020 and 2021 saying that a total of GHS19billion was realized.
But he said the programmed expenditure amounted to GHS15,763.48 million for the Ovid-related expenditures out of which the actual utilization was GHS12,036.41 million. He said in 2020, a total amount of GHS11,162 million including CAP was programmed for covid -19 related expenditures. Out of the amount, GHS8,122 million was utilized.
He said the amount was used to provide support to households, supply equipment,t and provide relief to health workers, health infrastructure, security operations, evacuations, quarantine and coordination, economic relief, stabilization and revitalization,n and covid-19 complementary releases. "M.r Speaker, a total amount of GHS4,601million was programmed in the year 2021 budget for covid-19 related expenses. At the end of December 2021, total utilization was GHS3,914.40 million representing 85 percent utilization", he disclosed. Report by Prosper Kwaku Selassy Agbitor