President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says funds for the fight against Covd-19 were appropriately used for the purpose of tackling the pandemic in Ghana.
He, has therefore, debunked the assertion that the funds were misused.
“Covid funds were not mis-used… Nothing dishonourable was done with Covid funds,”
President Akufo-Addo said this when he delivered the State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Parliament on Wednesday (March 8, 2023).
The President’s statement followed a recent audit report on Covid-19 expenditure by the Auditor General.
The Auditor-General’s 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.”
President Akufo-Addo gave a breakdown of how the funds were utilised.
“We provided GH¢518 million of grants and loans to micro, small and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs) through the NBSSI, now the Ghana Enterprise Agency, in which 302,515 enterprises benefitted, of which 60% were women-owned.
“These were MSMEs that were in distress as a result of the pandemic. For some traders, the receipt of GH¢1,000 made the difference between the ruin of the household and survival.
“In addition, 58,041 health workers were employed to supplement the existing health sector workforce. Subsequently, all of them have been absorbed as permanent workers in the health sector. Frontline health workers were also granted 50% tax relief for the period. Was that something to regret? We should be forever grateful for the work that so many people did to keep all of us safe. All households enjoyed free water supply and huge discounts on electricity bills, because access to water was a necessity 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. Today, the government support for utility bills is being projected by some as a waste or to use that word, so beloved of some commentators, profligate.”