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"Akufo-Addo must immediately fire all officials cited in the Auditor General's report" -Sammy Gyamfi

National Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Sammy Gyamfi Esq. has called on President Akufo-Addo to immediately fire all officials cited in the Auditor-General’s report.

According to Sammy Gyamfi, those officials have violated the laws of the country in their expenditure of COVID-19 funds.

Addressing Journalists in Accra on the mismanagement of covid-19 funds and matters arising, he said "President Akufo-Addo must immediately fire the Minister of Finance, his Health Minister, Kweku Agyemang Menu, the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the CEO of the National Food Buffer Stock Company and all other officials who have been cited in the report for violating the laws of the country in their expenditure of COVID-19 funds."

Mr. Gyamfi added that the NDC is calling on the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament (PAC) to expedite its public hearings on this Special Audit Report into COVID-19 expenditures.

This hearing, he noted, should be televised live for the Ghanaian public to follow and be apprised of how their government expended COVID-19 funds.

Mr. Gyamfi further urged Parliament to compel the Auditor-General to exercise his power of surcharge and disallowance to retrieve all COVID-19 funds that have been misapplied or misused through various infractions and veritable acts of criminality.

"While at it, ladies and gentlemen, we call on the Special Prosecutor to investigate all Ministers and public officials who have been cited in the report for wrongdoing and bring them to book"

"The report nonetheless reveals jaw-dropping details of how various officials and assigns of this government misapplied, misused and in some cases, wilfully looted the unprecedented resource envelope that accrued to the NPP-Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government for the management of the COVID-19 pandemic"

"The Auditor-General’s report reveals that, by the kind courtesy of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ghana benefitted immensely from unprecedented inflow of funds from various sources, such as the World Bank, the International Monitory Fund, the Africa Development Bank, the European Union, the Contingency Fund and the sale of BOG-COVID-19 Bonds among others. These funds, the report estimates to amount to a total of Twenty-One Billion, Eight-hundred and forty-four million, One-hundred and eighty-nine thousand, one-hundred and eighty-five Ghana Cedis, twenty-four pesewas (GHS 21,844,189,185.24)"

"We must emphasize here, that this amount excludes other COVID-related funds such as the $1 Billion facility from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), being Ghana’s share of the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights (SDR) to boost post-COVID economic recovery of member countries. The Auditor-General’s estimate also excludes the over GHS62 million that accrued to the COVID-19 Trust Fund which was established by an Act of Parliament to help mobilize funds to complement government’s fight against the pandemic."

"These notwithstanding, the report observed that out of the total amount of GHS21.8 billion that accrued to the Government of Ghana, only GHS11, 750,683,059.11 was spent on COVID-19 activities, while the rest of the money (precisely GHS10, 093,506,126.13) was spent on so-called “budget support”.

"he animal call “budget support” as we would later realize, was the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government’s euphemism for their reckless and wasteful election-driven expenses which resulted in an unprecedented budget deficit of 15.7% in the year 2020"

Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith

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