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Gov’t has multiple figures for COVID-19 expenditure – Ablakwa

Ablakwa 11.jpeg Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, MP for North Tongu

Fri, 22 Apr 2022 Source:

The Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has said the government must explain to Ghanaians why they have not rendered an account of the COVID-19 expenditure.

Speaking to Nana Aba Anamoah on Starr Chat Wednesday, Mr. Ablakwa said the Akufo-Addo led-administration has churned out multiple figures in the public domain on how much they spent on the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Have you not heard that they are blocking us in Parliament from accounting? Look, we now have multiple figures depending on who is speaking and when the person is speaking. Multiple figures, in the budget it’s in excess of 22 billion when we do the analysis.

“At the State of the Nation Address President Akufo-Addo said 17.7 billion, then Bawumia’s infamous lecture recently he said 8.1 billion so multiple figures flying all over the place. You remember how much they spent on feeding in a few days, over 100 million dollars just for facemask and hand sanitisers,” the North Tongu MP disclosed.

He continued “Look they don’t want to account, you see when I hear them say as for E-levy we will account every month, pay and roll we will account. So I ask should that not be the norm, all taxes are taxes, the government must be accountable, the principle must be cut across at all times.”

President Akufo-Addo in his sixth State of the Nation Address revealed that an amount of GH¢17.7 billion representing 4.6% of GDP has been spent on containing the Covid-19 pandemic since 2020.

He said Ghana has fared much better in fighting the pandemic than most African countries.

“Mr Speaker, we have saved lives and fared much better than we had feared and the experts predicted, but the consequences of lockdowns, border and business closures, and unplanned expenditures have combined to have a devastating impact on our economy.

“The unplanned expenditures included, but were not limited to, the recruitment, on a permanent basis, of fifty-eight thousand, one hundred and ninety-one (58,191) healthcare professionals, and the payment of extra incentives to our frontline health workers.

“It took an unbudgeted GH¢1.9 billion to ensure that our children and teaching staff went back and stayed in school safely. Some, including a few in this Honourable House, went as far as to accuse the government of trying to kill Ghanaian children when we introduced the controlled school re-openings. I might add here that, in some countries, school closures have lasted for twenty (20) months, and children are only now going back to school. Our children did not lose a single academic year.

“We provided nearly five million (5 million) households and over ten million (10 million) people with electricity and water subsidies at the time they were most needed. In all, data from the Ministry of Finance tells us that an amount of GH¢17.7 billion (or 4.6% of GDP) has been spent on containing the pandemic since 2020.”

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