The Minority in Parliament has petitioned the Auditor-General to conduct a special audit into GHS280.3 million that was allocated by the government for the provision of food, water, and sanitation under the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP).
In a letter to the Auditor-General signed by the Minority Chief Whip, Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka and the Ranking Member of Parliament’s Finance Committee, Cassiel Ato Forson on June 3, 2020, the Minority among other things are calling for a special audit into expenditure on:
- The amount of GHS40million, which was allocated for the procurement and distribution of food packages and hot meals to vulnerable groups in lockdown areas.
- The amount of GHS40.3 million, which was allocated to the Ghana National Buffer Stock Company for the procurement and distribution of dry food to the vulnerable groups in lockdown.
- The amount of GHS200 million, allocated for the provision of water and sanitation especially the amount spent on the supply of water takers to deprived in communities.
Minority’s reason for special audit
According to the letter, the Minority says it has received evidence some of the items meant for the vulnerable were sold by persons in government.
“The low coverage and haphazard implementation of the distribution of free hot meals and dry food to the vulnerable groups, as well as the supply of water to deprived communities, gives us cause for concern that these funds were not utilized judiciously by the government.”
“This is particularly so, as we have sighted media reports of state-sponsored COVID-19 relief items meant for the vulnerable, being sold in the market by functionaries of the ruling New Patriotic Party in Kumasi and other parts of the country.”
“Furthermore, we have in our possession, an audio recording from a Kumasi based Silva FM station, in which Market women at Tafo Pankrono have confirmed that eggs meant for distribution to vulnerable groups under the CAP have been diverted and sold on the mark by persons associated with government functionaries in the area,” the letter added.
The Minister of Finance, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, presented to the Finance Committee of Parliament the government’s Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP) in which he indicated that the government was going to spend GHS1.2 billion to cushion Ghanaians against the socio-economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The breakdown of the GHS1.2 billion included an allocation of GHS40 million for the provision of food packages and hot meals and an allocation of GHS40 million to the Ghana Buffer Stock Company for the provision of dry food to support vulnerable communities in lockdown areas.
A further GHS200 million was allocated for the provision of water and sanitation, including the mobilisation of all publicly and privately owned water tankers to ensure the supply of water to all vulnerable communities. All three allocations amounted to GHS280.3 million.