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How did government count 3.2 million citizens as COVID-19 free food beneficiaries? – Okudzeto queries

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa.png Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa

Thu, 23 Jun 2022 Source:

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Opposition Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has wondered how the government determined the total number of citizens who benefited from the distribution of free food during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, addressing parliament on Wednesday, June 22, 2022, told the house that the government spent a total of GHC54.34 million to provide hot and dry food to people within areas such as Accra, Kumasi and Kasoa during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020.

According to the minister, a total of 3,214,723 persons benefited from the free food.

But reacting to the minister’s address in a Facebook post, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa alluded that government could not possibly come up with such a figure of beneficiaries considering the chaos that characterized the exercise.

“We remember the chaotic scenes from government’s food distribution in Accra, Tema, Kasoa and Kumasi during lockdown; however, Ken Ofori-Atta claimed in Parliament yesterday that the government served 3,214,723 persons - that’s more than 10% of Ghana’s current population.

“He provided the total cost as a staggering GHS54.34million (for hot food and dry food). Can government kindly share their secret with the citizenry on how they did the counting despite the chaos and obvious lack of record-keeping?” he questioned.

Meanwhile, the Speaker of Parliament following Ken Ofori-Atta’s address on the government’s COVID-19 expenditure has directed a probe into the figures presented to the house by the minister.

But according to Mr Ablakwa, parliament’s joint Committee of Health and Finance “have been offered a really tough assignment” considering the details presented by the minister.

Mr Ofori-Atta on Wednesday went to parliament to provide answers to 16 questions tabled by members of the house to his ministry.

As part of the questions, the minister was asked to provide a detailed account of the government’s Covid-19 expenditures since the outbreak in March 2020.

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