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Ofori-Atta swerves Parliament over COVID-19 expenditure

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta112121 Ken Ofori-Atta

Fri, 17 Jun 2022 Source:

Ken Ofori-Atta, Finance Minister, has for the second time, failed to show up in Parliament to account for how the government has spent COVID-19 funds.

Per the Order paper of the House, the minister was expected to answer 16 questions, which includes accounting for COVID-19 funds. These questions, however, were not tabled as part of the day’s business.

The Minority MPs were unhappy about the development, accusing Ken Ofori-Atta for continuously disrespecting Parliamentary orders.

In an interview with JoyNews, the Ranking Member on the Health Committee, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh said, “that has been his nature; I am not surprised. There are a lot of outstanding questions for the Minister responsible for Finance, and sometimes at the last minute, he won’t show up. In any jurisdiction, this man would have been fired long ago by the President. He is not being fired by the President because he is keeping the parochial interest of the President.

“Tell me one single reason why this Minister should be in office by now. Are you satisfied? The hardship we are going through today, are you satisfied? The inflation today and the economic condition we are in today in Ghana can only be likened to the 80s.”

Akandoh stressed that Ken Ofori-Atta's attitude indicates that the government does not care much about probity, accountability and transparency.

He explained, “if he [Ken Ofori-Atta] really cares and this man has any conscience, he would not have the guts to go and sit on national television and be defending the building of the National Cathedral, while countless number of NABCo people have not been paid, and while the National Health Insurance Authority’s Fund has not been paid.”

The Juaboso MP noted, “We are talking in excess of GH¢25 million. We need a bi-partisan probe into the entire expenditure and the receipt of Covid money. For me, the questions on the Order Paper are not enough.”

Request for loan

Although he could not make it to Parliament, the Finance Minister has requested the approval of a loan sum of $1 billion.

He wants $750 million from the Afreximbank to finance capital and growth-related expenditures in the 2022 budget.

Also, a syndicated loan of $250 million will be taken from a consortium of banks.

View his Timepath below:

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