Minority Requests Special Auditing of Gov’t’s GHS280.3M COVID-19 Fund
Minority Chief Whip, Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka
The Minority in Parliament has appealed to the Auditor-General to inspect the GHS280.3 million fund which was allocated by the government for the provision of food, water, and sanitation under the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP).
The Minority Chief Whip, Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka and the Ranking Member of Parliament’s Finance Committee, Cassiel Ato Forson on June 3, 2020 petitioned the Auditor-General through a letter to conduct an audit.
According to the Minority, the Auditor-General needs to conduct a special audit into expenditure on the amount of GHS40million, which was allocated for the procurement and distribution of food packages and hot meals to vulnerable groups in lockdown areas.
They also requested that the amount of GHS40.3 million, which was allocated to the Ghana National Buffer Stock Company for the procurement and distribution of dry food to the vulnerable groups in lockdown, be investigated.
Again, the group intreated the Auditor-General to check the amount of GHS200 million, allotted for the provision of water and sanitation particularly the amount spent on the supply of water takers to underprivileged communities.
Minority’s reason for special audit
The Minority indicated in the letter that it has concrete evidence that suggests that some of the items meant for the vulnerable were sold by persons in government.
“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 utilized judiciously by the government.”
“This is particularly so, as we have sighted 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 letter further stated that the Minority has an audio recording as proof.
It reads, “furthermore, we have in our 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.”
The Minister of Finance, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, on the floor of Parliament explained to the Finance Committee on government’s Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP). In his presentation, he indicated that the government was going to spend GHS1.2 billion to cushion Ghanaians against the socio-economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, a breakdown of the GHS1.2 billion included an allocation of GHS40 million for the provision of food packages and hot meals and an allocation of GHS40 million to the Ghana Buffer Stock Company for the provision of dry food to support vulnerable communities in lockdown areas.
A further GHS200 million was allocated for the provision of water and sanitation, including the mobilisation of all publicly and privately owned water tankers to ensure the supply of water to all vulnerable communities. All three allocations amounted to GHS280.3 million.