The Speaker of Parliament has ordered the committees of Finance and Health to thoroughly probe the Covid-19 expenditures by the government.
Rt. Hon. Speaker Alban S.K Bagbin said this has become imperative to clear all “lingering doubts” on the matter.
According to him, some agencies such as the Covid-19 Trust Fund received some funds and disbursed same on their own.
He explained that the Finance Ministry cannot be compelled to account for them on their behalf.
Delivering his ruling, Speaker Bagbin, thus, charged the committees to expedite the work and report same to the plenary.
“…Is with this that I direct that the Committee of Finance ably supported by the Committee of Health investigate and inquire into the total receipts referred to as Covid-19 funds and how those funds were applied for the betterment of the people of this country.”
“It is very important for us to do that to allay the fears of Ghanaians, and this matter is of a serious concern. So I want to add that the committees shouldn’t expedite action on this matter and report.”
Meanwhile, the Speaker has commended the government for its management of the pandemic in the country.
He insisted that even though some Members of Parliament contracted the virus, none died, unlike in other countries.
“Definitely, we know without those funds, I don’t know how many of us would have been alive by now, and we are lucky as a house that 275 of us survived at least for those of us who caught it including the Minister of Finance himself. We know some good Ghanaians quite painfully died, but we did far better than many countries in the world.”
Speaker Bagbin’s directive was on the back of the Minority MPs’ demand for an audit into all Covid-19-related expenses over discrepancies in government expenditure data.
They argued that the Finance Minister’s figures on the total expenditure for the management of the outbreak is not in tandem with that of President Akufo-Addo.
However, this demand was vehemently argued against by the Majority in Parliament.
They also said the Auditor General is the institution charged by the constitution to audit the government’s total expenses.