Shocking! Akufo-Addo denies Auditor General’s report of COVID-19 fund misuse
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has defended the use of COVID-19 funds by his government, stating that nothing untoward was done with the money during the pandemic.
The President made these remarks while addressing Parliament on March 8, 2023, during his State of the Nation address.
According to the Auditor General’s Report on the usage of public funds in the wake of COVID-19, there were concerns about the management of the funds allocated for the pandemic.
However, President Akufo-Addo dismissed the report and said that the responses from the Ministers for Health and Finance had sufficiently addressed the issues raised in the report.
Moreover, President Akufo-Addo provided a breakdown of how the funds were utilized, stating that GH¢518 million was granted to micro, small, and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs) through the Ghana Enterprise Agency.
This move was to help the MSMEs that were in distress as a result of the pandemic. Over 302,515 enterprises benefited, of which 60% were women-owned. The President also mentioned that the funds given to traders made a huge difference between the ruin of households and their survival.
The President further noted that 58,041 health workers were employed to supplement the existing health sector workforce, and all of them had been absorbed as permanent workers in the health sector. Additionally, frontline health workers were granted 50% tax relief for the period.
President Akufo-Addo also highlighted the measures taken to provide free water supply and huge discounts on electricity bills.
Access to water was necessary to ensure people adhered to hygiene practices, and access to electricity was important as everybody was encouraged to stay at home. It also provided an economic cushion to protect lives and livelihoods at a time of difficulty.
In his speech, the President emphasized the government’s commitment to minimizing the disruptions caused by the pandemic in the education sector.
He stated that the government took a deliberate decision to open schools and education institutions as soon as it was made safe to do so, despite the cost and unpopularity of the move. He also highlighted the volumes of sanitizer and other logistics required to keep schools open and safe.
To that effect, the President concluded by stating that no auditor could put a figure on the cost of keeping children in school safely during the pandemic, nor the continuing cost of the effect of the pandemic on young people. He emphasized the importance of repairing the damage caused by the pandemic and beginning to rebuild the economy.
In conclusion, President Akufo-Addo has debunked claims of misusing COVID-19 funds and highlighted the measures taken by his government to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on Ghanaians.
The President has defended the decisions taken by his government, stating that they were necessary to protect the lives and livelihoods of Ghanaians during the pandemic.