NDC Suspects Misuse of GH¢280.3 million Coronavirus Cash , Calls for Probe
Cassiel Ato Forson -Minority Spokesperson on Finance
The NDC minority in Parliament has officially petitioned Ghana's Auditor-General, Daniel Domelevo, to conduct a special audit into the expenditure of the amount of GH¢280.3 million during the coronavirus lockdown.
The funds, according to Ghana government, was spent on food and water under the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP) at the peak of the pandemic.
Specifically, the Minority parliamentarians are asking for a special audit into the expenditure on:
i. The amount of GH¢40 million, which was allocated for the procurement and distribution of food packages and hot meals to vulnerable groups in lockdown areas.
ii. The amount of GH¢40.3 million, which was allocated to the Ghana National Buffer Stock Company for the procurement and distribution of dry food to vulnerable groups in lockdown areas.
iii. The amount of GH¢200 million, allocated for the provision of water and sanitation, especially the amount spent on the supply of water tankers to deprived communities.
The petition, sighted by Info Radio explains that the GH¢280.3 million was part of some GH¢1.2 billion which was allocated by Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, to cushion Ghanaians against the socio-economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The low coverage and haphazard implementation of the distribution of free hot meals and dry food to the vulnerable groups, as well as the supply of water to deprived communities, gives us cause for concern that these funds were not utilised judiciously by the government,” the MPs stated in the petition.
The petition, which was signed by a Ranking Member of the Finance Committee of Parliament, Cassiel Ato Forson, noted that their suspicion that the money may have been misapplied is also made firm by “media reports of state-sponsored COVID-19 relief items meant for the vulnerable, being sold in the market by functionaries of the ruling New Patriotic Party in Kumasi and other parts of the country.”
The MPs further claim in the petition that the Minority Caucus has in its possession, an audio recording from a Kumasi based Silva FM station, in which Market women at Tafo Pankrono have confirmed that eggs meant for distribution to vulnerable groups under the CAP have been diverted and sold on the market by persons associated with government functionaries in the area.