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Government’s GHS19 billion COVID-19 expenses claim not accurate – John Jinapor

Member of Parliament (MP) for Yapei-Kusawgu, John Abdulai Jinapor has taken on the government for pegging the fiscal impact of COVID-19 expenditure at GHS19 billion.

The legislator says the claim is inaccurate.

In a release to raise the alarm, Mr. Jinapor said, although the amount was the budgeted figure, only GHS 1.7 billion was used based on the government’s own 2021 budget statement presented to Parliament.

John Jinapor also mentioned that it is even difficult to understand why the government will pretend to have heavily spent to manage the health crisis and attribute current economic challenges to the pandemic.

“Of the total amount utilized, only GHS 1,734,530,274.99 billion representing 9.4% of the total utilized expenditure was for COVID-19 Expenditure. The remaining 90% was utilized for other purposes including interest payments and amortization. It is therefore inaccurate the claim by some government officials that GHS19 billion was used for COVID-19 related expenditures”, he wrote.

Further checks of the appendix of the budget also show that GHS 16.4 billion out of the GHS19 billion budgeted for COVID-19 expenditure was spent on deficit financing.

This, the former deputy Power Minister said the narrative being told of the pandemic expenses cannot be believed, accusing the government of engaging in reckless expenditure.

“Government cannot engage in reckless expenditures and turn around to blame COVID-19 for their own failures”, he added.

 

Below is the full piece from Mr. Jinapor

From Table 12B, Page 274 of the 2021 Budget Statement, only GHS 1,734,530,274.99 billion of the Programmed GHS 19,300,600,000 billion was utilized for COVID-19 Expenditure.

The remaining amount of the GHS 16,460,365,131.54 billion was used to pay interest, Principal and other regular budgetary Expenditures.

Indeed, of the GHS 19,300,600,000.00 allocated, a total amount of GHS 18,194,895,406.53 representing 94% was utilized.

Of the total amount utilized only GHS 1,734,530,274.99 billion representing 9.4% of the total utilized expenditure was for COVID-19 Expenditure.

The remaining 90% was utilized for other purposes including interest payments and amortization.

Indeed, from Appendix 2C of the 2021 Budget Statement, a total amount of GH¢11,162 million was programmed for total Covid-related expenditures for 2020. At the end of the year, provisional actual expenditure on Covid-19 amounted to GH¢8,123 million.

These include expenditures on security, health workers, etc.

It is therefore inaccurate the claim by some government officials that 19 billion was used for COVID-19 related expenditures.

Government cannot engage in reckless Expenditures and turn around to blame COVID-19 for their own failures.

John Abdulai Jinapor
MP Yapei-Kusawgu

 

Source: Ghana|Citinewsroom

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