These are challenging times but NDC has no ideas to share; they’re betting against Ghana – Ahiagbah

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The Director of Communications for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Richard Ahiagbah has recognised that Ghanaians are going through challenging times.

However, he said the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has no ideas and solutions to the challenges to share.

He accused them of only talking because talk is cheap.

Mr Ahiagbah was reacting to the press conference held by the National Communications Officer of the NDC, Sammy Gyamfi regarding the Auditor-General’s report on Covid funds utilisation on Wednesday, February 1.

He tweeted “The NDC just gave a press conference to talk. Talk is all they do because talk is cheap. These are challenging times for Ghanaians, but NDC has no solutions or ideas to share. They are betting against Ghana. Expect the Fair Truth.”

Addressing the press conference, Sammy Gyamfi said accused the government of thivey.

He said “we will not be surprised if the thieving Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government who have proven to be a grand monument of waste and corruption tries to coverup this corruption scandal as they have often done since they took office in the year 2017.

“We wish to make it clear that we cannot and will not accept any situation where the Ghanaian people will be further punished and made to suffer for the willful mismanagement and destruction of our economy while the thieves in government who continue to milk the state coffers dry are left off the hook to enjoy their loot. We shall not sit aloof and watch the mother serpent of corruption, President Akufo-Addo and his Appearance-Fee-Collection Vice, Alhaji Bawumia whitewash this audit report and sweep it under the carpet as they have done in time past. Enough is enough!

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“Unlike President Akufo-Addo who has proven to be the Chief Corruption Clearing Agent, the whole world witnessed how the Malawian President, Lazarus Chakwera, cracked the whip on officials of his government who were found to have misused COVID-19 funds. The Malawian President is on record to have fired his Labour Minister, Ken Kandodo together with nineteen (19) other Officials. Friends, Kandodo’s crime was that he used less than $800 of the COVID-19 fund on allowances for a trip to South Africa in the company of the President. This is what decisive leadership is all about, but alas, here in Ghana, officials of the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government receive promotion and patting at the back for engaging in acts of stealing of public funds.

“The NDC calls on the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament (PAC) to expedite its public hearings on this Special Audit Report into COVID-19 expenditures. This hearing should be televised live for the Ghanaian public to follow and be apprised of how their government expended COVID-19 funds.  We further urge Parliament to compel the Auditor-General to exercise his power of surcharge and disallowance to retrieve all COVID-19 funds that have been misapplied or misused through various infractions and veritable acts of criminality.

“While at it, ladies and gentlemen, we call on the Special Prosecutor to investigate all Ministers and public officials who have been cited in the report for wrongdoing and bring them to book. President Akufo-Addo must immediately fire the Minister of Finance, his Health Minister, Kweku Agyemang Menu, the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the CEO of the National Food Buffer Stock Company and all other officials who have been cited in the report for violating the laws of the country in their expenditure of COVID-19 funds.”

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The Auditor-General report stated that “During our review, we noted that senior management staff and other supporting staff of the Ministry of Information paid themselves a total amount of GH¢151,500.00 as COVID-19 risk allowance for coming to work during the lockdown.”

It further indicated that the Ministry of Health (MoH) entered a contract signed on 15 December 2021 for the supply of 26 Toyota Hiace Deluxe Ambulances valued at US$4,049,460.12 out of which US$607,419.02 was paid vide PV No. IPF 22-007 of 2 September 2022 to be delivered by 15 January 2022.

However, the report said, the ambulances remained undelivered as of 28 November 2022.

According to the latest report on government expenditure between March 2020 and June 2022, the Chief Director explained that the supplier applied for an extension to meet some technical specifications.

“Under the current economic difficulties, the supplier could apply for price variation to unduly increase the cost of the contract which could have been avoided if the ambulances had been supplied as scheduled,” it said.

It added that “Management has indicated that upon technical inspection by the World
Bank, additional specifications have been recommended and the contract has therefore been extended to March 2023.

“We recommended that the Chief Director should ensure that the ambulances are delivered no further than the extended date of March 2023.”

The Ministry of Finance welcomed the report and assured the public that steps are being taken to address all issues raised in it.

“The following inventions are currently being pursued by the Ministry;’ Meetings are being organized to engage with the implementing agencies to evaluate actions taken to implement the audit recommendations in the report; Preparations for an emergency expenditure Management Guideline.’

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“This guideline will provide the government with administrative protocols in times of emergency such as the Covd-19 pandemic to ensure compliance with relevant PFM regulations while providing a timely response.”

By Laud Nartey||Ghana


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