Sunday , 29 January 2023

Auditor General’s report vindicates our position on Covid-19 expenditure probe – Mintah Ankadoh

Ranking Member on Parliament’s Health Committee, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, says the Auditor General’s report on Covid-19 expenditures has vindicated the Minority’s position on the need for a probe.

The Minority in Parliament had in January of last year filed a motion for an inquiry into the expenditure made by the government since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

The motion was admitted by the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, but dismissed in February by the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu with explanation that such a bi-partisan committee is already provided for by the constitution via the office of the Auditor-General and the Public Accounts Committee.

Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, Mr. Mintah Akandoh says the profligate spending exposed in the audit report buttresses their point that the Covid-19 expenditure ought to have been interrogated.

“We started insisting on this probe not today, insisting on this probe. In fact in the initial stages, our colleagues on the other side thought that there was absolutely nothing wrong to be investigated. It got to a point our motion to call for that probe was even thrown off parliament.

“That time, it was the Rt. Honourable First Deputy Speaker, Joe Osei Owusu, who was sitting in the chair. But agreed this first Auditor-General’s report has vindicated our position that indeed there is something to be investigated.

“And so I think that we must go beyond what the Auditor General has done, now we’re receiving memoranda – anybody who has anything to submit or to tell us is welcomed  and so by the 7th we’ll begin sitting in public and I think that whatever will come out will be for everybody to know,” he said.

The Auditor-General’s report revealed some infractions in government’s expenditure for Covid-19 from March 2020 to June 2022.       

Some of the infractions that were uncovered include; paying a total of US$607,419.02 out of US$4,049,460.12 for the purchase of 26 ambulances that were never delivered, paying unapproved GH ₵151,500 by the Information Ministry to its own staff as Covid insurance, and paying for $80 million worth of vaccines by the government that was never delivered, amongst others.

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