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Sunday, June 26, 2022

COVID-19 expenditure: Minority engaging in propaganda – Deputy Finance Minister

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Abena Osei-Asare, Deputy Minister-designate of Finance

Deputy Finance Minister, Abena Osei Asare, has accused the Minority group in parliament of engaging in propaganda about the COVID-19 expenditure.

According to her, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Members of Parliament “want to fish out something that is not there”.

Abena Osei Asare’s comment comes on the back of the Minority’s demand for an audit into all Covid-19-related expenses over discrepancies in the government’s expenditure data.

The NDC MPs argue that the government has not been candid with its accounts, especially on funds Ghana had received from several foreign states and institutions.

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin ordered the committees of Finance and Health to thoroughly probe the Covid-19 expenditures by the government.

He indicated that the figures presented by Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, on the total expenditure for the management of the outbreak are not in tandem with that of President Akufo-Addo.

But, speaking on Adom FM’s morning show, Dwaso Nsem programme Thursday, the deputy Finance Minister said the NDC MPs are being disingenuous.

According to her, the government has accounted for the 19.3 billion cedis COVID-19 funds in the 2021 and 2022 budgets.

“The COVID-19 expenditure was on page 204 of the 2021 budget and page 335 of the 2022 budget so if the Minority MPs had done their work well, they would have seen the expenditure in the budgets presented in Parliament,” Madam Osei Asare stressed.

She maintained that funds utilized, pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic have been duly reported in line with the government’s commitment to accountability and transparency.

“We have accounted for all the monies that passed through our hands and we have nothing to hide,” she stressed.

Abena Osei Asare also disagreed with the Speaker’s decision for a probe into the expenditure after committees of Parliament have worked on it.

This move, she stated, will weaken committees in Parliament that had oversight responsibility on the issue.

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