The President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Adddo, in his final address on Covid 19 this evening, May 29, 2023, stated that the expenditure made on COVID-19 was not used to cover corrupt practices by his government.
The President addressed Ghanaians once again In the Update No. 29 of the COVID-19 pandemic which was centered on measures taken against the spread of coronavirus and an update on the IMF Programme to the nation from the Jubilee House.
He remarked that this was his final update on Covd 19 to the Ghanaian populace as the Covid Pandemic was over and we have returned to a pre-COVID era.
“it is likely God willing that this will be the last in the series of fellow Ghanaian’s speeches on COVID. And as your president, I have a truly long list of people and institutions, I must take this opportunity to thank.” He stated.
He stated emphatically that battling Covid was expensive hence the total expenditure has been subject to auditing by the Auditor General and undergoing Parliamentary procedure. In light of this, he argued that COVID funds were not expended in a corrupt manner as many have been claiming.
” Let me make it clear that covid expenditures essentially unplanned have been subjected by my instigation to be audited by the Auditor General and are going through Parliamentary processes. We all deserve to be reassured that the crisis was not used as a cover for corrupt practices.” He said.
He further encouraged Ghanaians to bear with the government as the new Covid taxes which have been introduced are to widen revenue to film some of the “expenditure holes”.
“The Covid Health recovery levy that was introduced to help fill some of the expenditure holes might not be the most popular tax. But I entreat all of you to bear with us. The COVID trust fund has performed an invaluable service and with these developments has reached the end of its mandate.” He stated.
He reiterated that the fight against the unexpected pandemic was very expensive as he continued to give a tall list of undertakings that the government fund as well as the COVID-19 trust fund was expended on.
He mentioned how a decline in economic activities following the restrictions that were imposed brought as well as the fumigation exercises conducted, the purchase of vaccines, the provision of free water and subsidized electricity, the cost of sensitization programs, and cushioning health workers with tax rebate as well as the recruitment of additional health workers affected the purse of the state.
“Fighting covid has been a very expensive undertaking characterized by lockdown, closed borders, minimal economic activities, and the consequential steep decline in economic activity. The testing at the various medical laboratories, quarantines of arrivals from outside the country, hospital admissions treatment and feeding of all patients were publicly funded and cost vast sums of money”
“The fumigation, cleansing, and disinfection of markets, schools, offices, and other public spaces caused a lot of money. Free water was provided and the cost of electricity was subsidized. Fifty-four thousand additional health workers were hired and all health workers obtained a tax rebate. keeping us informed about this most unpredictable virus was expensive and a lot of money was spent on public education, public information, risk communication, and public and community engagement, keeping us all abreast with the relevant information. We must thank the Ministry of Information and its agencies” he stated.
He thanked all Ghanaians for their involvement in the fight against the virus as well as other institutions, religious bodies, and organizations that joined hands to battle COVID. 5910