A leading member of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) wants the government to render account on the GHc40 million used to feed Ghanaians during the COVID-19 3 weeks lockdown period.
Johnson Asiedu Nketia, NDC General Secretary, believes Ghanaians have been shortchanged since the president lifted the lockdown just a week after the said funds were said to have been disbursed.
As a way of mitigating against any hardship that some Ghanaians were likely to experience following President Akufo-Addo’s decision to impose restrictions on the movement of persons and goods within some areas in the country in the wake of the novel Coronavirus, the government decided to set aside a significant amount of money to feed the vulnerable hard hit by the directive.
Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP)
The Finance Committee of Parliament approved for the government to access GHC1.2billion from the Contingency Fund to finance the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP). The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta presented the policy document on CAP to Parliament seeking approval to spend GHC1.2 billion.
This came after the Minority in Parliament asked the government to give details of the funding requested by the Minister to tackle coronavirus and its impact on the economy.
Details of CAP
The Minister explained that GHC280 million will be used for food packages and hot meals while GHC40 million will go to the National Buffer Stock Company.
Meanwhile, GHC 200 million will be used to pay for bills on water and sanitation, GHC241 million will cover tax waiver for health personnel.
He added that GHC 80 million will be spent on the allowance for health staff, GHC2 million will go into the transportation for health workers GHC600 million will be disbursed as soft loans to businesses.
Accountability Is What We Demand
But speaking on Okay FM’s ‘Ade Akye Abia’ program, Mr. Asiedu Nketiah questioned how the monies could have been dissipated within this short period of time and wants accountability.
“This is the taxpayers’ money and you cannot use it in the name of COVID-19 without letting the people of Ghana know how you disbursed it . . . the people you claim to have fed are still hungry and to cap it all, you have lifted the lockdown for them to go and fend for themselves .
“It is good the president lifted the lockdown because clearly, a lot of people would have died out of hunger . . . the government claimed to be sharing food to the vulnerable, but lots of people were not beneficiaries.
“This is why the government must come out and account to Ghanaians how the funds during this COVID-19 period were utilized . . . how some members of the public were identified as vulnerable yet did not earn,” the NDC General Secretary stated.
Source: Isaac Kwame Owusu/Peacefmonline.com