Ofori-Atta’s account of Covid fund utilization disappointing – Binka

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A Clinical Epidemiologist, Professor Fred Binka, has said he was disappointed in the way the Finance Minister presented the breakdown of the Covid funds utilization.

Prof Binka said he did not see from the presentation, how the government spent on the actual measures introduced in tackling the pandemic.

He told Eric Mawuena Egberta on the Hot Edition on 3FM that “I was completely disappointed. First of all, I struggled to find out how much was spent on the Covid itself. The only figures I saw that looked like we were acting on Covid were the vaccines but I can assure you that more than half those vaccines were donated. The vaccines we have today, most of it were donated. By now, we should have reagent, tests, it is the only way we can fight covid.

“The issue about building hospitals, if you don’t test them how do you take them to the hospital. I was really disappointed, I am not an economist but I couldn’t see that line that showed that we were preparing ourselves against the pandemic by testing as frequently as we can and making sure that this diseases doesn’t make impact in this country.”

Mr Ofori-Atta appeared in in Parliament on Wednesday June 22 to account for the funds.

In the area of free water and electricity for lifeline consumers, for instance, he told the lawmakers that an amount of “¢200m was made available for free water and electricity for lifeline consumers, out of this, ¢143m utilized.”

He further told the House that “Though our response was bold and decisive and compassionate, it has also been costly. Mr Speaker, you will recall that on 30th March 2020, I made a statement to Parliament that the economic impact of Covid 19 pandemic on the economy of Ghana following the implementation of the coronavirus alleviation programme commenced.

“Furthermore, during the presentation of the 2020 mid year budget fiscal policy, I indicated that the supplementary request included the programme funding of ¢19.3billion from various funding sources to support the budget both directly and indirectly. On the expenditure side, an amount of ¢11. 16billion was programmed for Covid-19 related expenses. The difference of ¢8.14 billion was progarmme to provide for shortfall in revenue.

“In 2021, the budget programme of a total amount of ¢4.6billion for Covid-19 related expenses. It is worth noting that the Ministry of Finance mobilizes the needed financial resources whiles the various Covid-19 interventions and related expense were implemented by the relevant sector ministries and agencies.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

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