Ghana spent $430m World Bank Covid fund in line with procurement laws – Country Director

Finance Minister

The World Bank Country Director(Ghana), Pierre Frank Laporte has said the government of Ghana spent the $430 million Covid support from the Bretton Woods institution in line with procurement requirements.

He said the World Bank is satisfied with the way Ghana spent the funds after its audits.

Mr Laporte’s comments come at a time Former President John Dramani Mahama has accused the government of imprudent use of Covid funds.

“The economic problem we are facing stem from imprudent election-related expenditure and reckless decision-making in the management of the economy.

“This also includes the way the windfall from Covid was used. Covid was an adversity but in adversity was opportunity. As a result of Covid multilateral institutions gave us money, we took extra money from the Bank of Ghana and just misused it. That money would have cushioned this crisis that we are going through,” the 2020 Presidential Candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) said while addressing a forum on the Economy in Accra on Thursday June 30.

Speaking in an interview with Paa Kwesi Asare on the Business Focus on TV3, Monday September 19, the World Bank Country Director Mr Laporte said “We have done audits, of course there are few issues here and there, but largely speaking we are very satisfied.

“Our result is, spending line met the procurement requirements that existed. Covid was implemented under emergency procurement measures. All of the Covid funds were not spent, it is a project, there were things to be spent on, but there was also construction and procurement of equipment. So we don’t feel our resources have not been properly spent.”

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Earlier, the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, told Parliament that the government was prudent with Covid-19 resources to help protect lives and safeguard jobs.

Mr Ofori-Atta said every penny mobilised was used judiciously to enhance the country’s ability to contain the pandemic.

He also described the pandemic as the biggest shock to have hit the economy so far, hence the decision by the country to deploy all available resources to contain the effects on lives and businesses.

Answering questions on how funds mobilised to support the COVID-19 fight were expended, the minister said it was untrue that the government was running away from accountability. “Mr. Speaker, I believe that this presentation demonstrates Government’s commitment to accountability and transparency. All programmed, mobilised and utilised funds have been duly reported on. As a Government, we continue to operate an open-door policy and welcome any opportunity to engage in the national interest,” he said.

He explained that an amount of GH¢18.19 billion was mobilised in resources while GH¢12.04 billion was spent.

He said the amount spent to contain the spread and mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on lives and properties.

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana