Deputy Finance Minister, John Kumah, says the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, is not running away from accounting for the Covid-19 expenditure.
According to him, the Finance Minister had provided full disclosure on the use of the Covid-19 funds while addressing Parliament Wednesday, June 22, and there was nothing to hide.
The Finance Minister had earlier debunked claims that government has not been transparent about its Covid-19 expenditure.
He said all programmed, mobilised, and utilised funds pertaining to the coronavirus pandemic have been duly reported in line with the government’s commitment to accountability and transparency.
Ken Ofori-Atta, revealed that a total of ¢12.04 billion has been expended so far on Covid-19.
However, in his account to Parliament, he had excluded funds from the National Covid-19 Trust Fund and the Ghana Private Sector Covid-19 Fund.
Speaking on PM Express, John Kumah explained that the Minister omission of those funds from his report to Parliament did not contravene the law as members of the Minority side were alluding to.
He explained that the exclusion of those funds was justified by the fact that they did not go through the channel of the Consolidated Fund and thus were not allocated or appropriated by the Finance Minister.
“There’s nothing inconsistent about what the Minister said here and what the constitution is providing especially when it is to do with Consolidated fund. Now the Minister is saying I’m accounting for funds that have come through the Consolidated fund,” he said.
He stated that those responsible for accounting for those funds were the board of trustees that managed the accounts the funds were channeled into.
“There’s a board of trustees who manage that in different accounts. The funds don’t go through the consolidated funds for the Finance Minister to allocate or disburse. If you have set up a fund that has board of trustees and they have a different method of receipts of revenue and expenditures, that accounting can be done through that board, it doesn’t have to go through the Finance Minister.
“So he says that in this accounting of funds that I am doing I have excluded them. That’s complete disclosure, so I don’t see the difficulty in it. The trustees can come and do that accounting. And today, the Speaker directed two committees, finance and health to go into this and give us the update.
“It has not come through the channel of consolidated fund, so it hasn’t gone through his appropriation so he’s not accounting for it,” he explained.
“Finance Ministry has not received any funds from the private Covid-19 funds to account for at this point. So we can allow the managers and trustees to come and account for how much they have received and how much they have expended it,” he stressed.