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HomeNewsAuditor-General's report on COVID-19: Heads must roll now - Charles Owusu

Auditor-General’s report on COVID-19: Heads must roll now – Charles Owusu

Charles Owusu has applauded the Auditor-General for delving into the government’s expenditure on the Coronavirus pandemic and making the report public.

The former Head of Monitoring Unit at the Forestry Commission lauded the Auditor-General for exposing the misappropriation of COVID-19 funds in his latest audit report.

Auditor-General’s Report

Giving an overview of receipts and utilization of the COVID-19 funds, the Auditor-General revealed that records at the Ministry of Finance, Controller and Accountant-General and Ministry of Health indicate that “the Ministry of Finance mobilised a total amount of GH¢19,112,318,205.12 in 2020 to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The records showed that an amount of GH¢1,978,551,137.46 was mobilised in 2021 and GH¢753,319,842.66 (up to June 2022) to finance the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme and the implementation of the Ghana COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan. In all, a total amount of GH¢21,844,189,185.24 was mobilised to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic in Ghana”.

The report also stated; “The Ministry, without the approval of the Central Tender Review Committee, increased the cost of five contracts with total contract sum of GH¢24,256,500.00 by GH¢4,017,000.00 through variation orders.”

“The Ministry of Health entered into a 25-year Finance Lease Agreement at a total lease value of GH¢15,265,000.00 in 2020 to be used as a holding and isolation centre in Adaklu in the Volta Region. The works, we noted, include remodelling the existing buildings to be used as holding, treatment and isolation centres but could not use the facility for the intended purpose which resulted in an additional cost of GH¢20,382,247.70. We recommended to the Chief Director to consider outright acquisition of the buildings,” it added.

The audit further revealed that the “Ministry of Health on behalf of Government of Ghana paid an amount of US$120,192,379.80 to UNICEF/AVAT for the supply of vaccines. However, 5,109,600.00 doses of vaccines valued at US$38,322,000.00 were supplied to the National Cold Room leaving a difference of US$81,870,379.80 with UNICEF/AVAT”.

Heads Must Roll

Speaking on Peace FM’s “Kokrokoo” morning show, Charles Owusu called on the Public Accounts Committee in Parliament to take penal action against persons who engaged in financial mismanagement.

“I think we all with one voice should commend the Auditor-General and tell our leaders in Parliament – the honorables sitting on the Public Accounts Committee – to take action as there are some people who must be recommended for prosecution and the court must also help us to punish these people for engaging in corruption”, he said.

He expressed disgust over the findings by the Auditor-General which show the poor use of the COVID-19 funds.

“It’s sad…we don’t care about ourselves. Ghana has become an individual thing; every person is thinking about himself/herself and the other person…Corruption kills people. Corruption destroys a nation”, Charles Owusu fumed.

To him, heads must roll immediately to serve as a deterrent to other public officials and Ghanaians at large.

“We pay COVID tax in this country? Don’t we?…Every time we keep on shifting blame. We don’t take responsibility. It’s like the life we are living; Ghanaians can blame every other person but not themselves. This is the life we are living in this country. So, until we make up our minds to fight things like this, we can’t fight it. When we keep on defending it, it will continue.”

 

Source: peacefmonline.com

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