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General News of Tuesday, 22 February 2022


Joe Wise throws out Minority's motion to probe COVID-19 expenditure

First Deputy Speaker in Parliament, Joseph Osei Owusu First Deputy Speaker in Parliament, Joseph Osei Owusu

Your motion to probe COVID-19 expenditure improperly laid, Joe Wise

Your calls for probe lacks merit, Majority

PAC has the power to probe COVID-19 expenditure, Joe Wise

First Deputy Speaker in Parliament has thrown out a private motion by the minority seeking to enquire into the expenditures made by the Ghana government, in relation to COVID-19 since the outbreak of the pandemic in 2020.

According to Joseph Osei Owusu, Alban Bagbin should not have admitted the motion as everything related to the motion falls under the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) which is a bi-partisan committee.

Ruling on the objections raised by the majority with regards to procedures through which the motion was presented, Joseph Osei Owusu said, “…the matters that were called upon to set up a committee to investigate did not come under any of the select or standing committees of the house. In my view it falls squarely in the PAC, and indeed all the committees of the house including PAC are bi-partisan and PAC is designed to be chaired by the minority so, in all its folds and questions related to the PAC, if it is minded to investigate anything related to the COVID expenditure, it fully sits with the authority and the power to investigate that, particularly because all the accounting for it has been provided for in the budget which budget has been presented before the house and it is before the committee”.

He therefore threw out the motion indicating that the motion is improperly laid before the house.

“My view is that this motion ought not to be admitted as is improperly before the house”

Three Members of Parliament filed a motion to the house for the constitution of a bi-partisan parliamentary committee chaired by a member of the minority caucus, to enquire into the expenditures made by the Ghana Government in relation to COVID-19 since the outbreak of the pandemic in 2020. The members are Minority leader, Haruna Iddrisu, Minority Chief Whip, Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka and Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson.

Reading the motion, Ato Forson indicated that the motion has become necessary as the amount that was approved by the house was exceeded by government.

“…government said they wanted us to approve for the use of what we call the Coronavirus Alleviation program 1, an amount of GHc1.2 billion. That was what this house was made to approve. But in the mid-year review that was presented to us clearly this government spent an amount of over 8 billion cedis. This means this means the government spent an additional 7 billion cedis for the purposes of COVID-19 expenditures.”

He added that the Finance Ministry needed to come back to inform the house and give a breakdown of expenditure but has failed to do so hence the need for a committee to be set up for probing.

Speaking on the motion, the Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin raised concerns. According to him, the motion lacks merit. It was based on this that the Speaker threw out the motion. Type a message