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General News of Monday, 30 August 2021


Outrageous Coronavirus expenditure reinforces need for special audit – Francis-Xavier Sosu

Human rights lawyer and MP for Madina Constituency, Francis-Xavier Sosu Human rights lawyer and MP for Madina Constituency, Francis-Xavier Sosu

Deputy Ranking Member on the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament, Francis-Xavier Sosu is calling for a special audit of the Covid-19 funds following ‘outrageous expenditures’ by management of the fund.

He noted that in Ghana, the outbreak of the pandemic has seen a variety of measures being adopted by government to ensure the protection of lives and livelihoods.

“However, following recent reports and scandals associated with Government’s management of the Covid-19 pandemic in Ghana, there is the need for a full-blown audit of Covid-19 expenditures to ensure that Government sends the right signals by ensuring the protection of the public purse and demonstration of commitment towards the fight against corruption”.

The private legal practitioner cum Member of Parliament for Madina Constituency argued that Ghana spent over USD2.1billion on corrupt deals based on a corruption risk assessment by Community Development Alliance (CDA-Ghana) and the Commonwealth Foundation which includes irregular procurement practices that go against Ghana’s procurement laws and substantial breaches of anti-corruption laws and international conventions and best practices.

To buttress his assertions, Francis-Xavier Sosu cited “the award of contract to four garment manufacturing companies with USD10million loans through the Ghana Exim Bank to produce PPEs, facemasks, medical scrubs, hospital gowns and headgears without tender, with the companies not being registered with the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) at the time of contract award” as an example.

Again, the contract awarded to Frontiers Healthcare Solution Services Limited to conduct Covid-19 antigen tests at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) without tender and being unlicensed by the Health Facilities Regulator (HEFRA) violates the laid down regulations, said the legal practitioner.

The Madina MP added that the confession by Health Minister, Kwaku Agyemang Manu, in saying he was “not in his right senses when signing Sputnik V vaccine contract” while before Parliament’s Select Committee on Health reinforces the need for an audit of covid-19 related expenditures.

According to him, this is critical to ensure transparency and accountability, and as a guide to the handling of future pandemics and emergencies and related procurement.

“Although it is clear that what we are missing, utterly and completely, in this Government is accountability, there is the need for an audit of the management of Ghana’s management of the covid-19 pandemic and related expenditure by Parliament’s Health Committee, Office of Special Prosecutor, Auditor General, and Commission of Enquiry, among others, if we aspire to hold firm the tenets of democracy, and ensure that Ghana attains its pride of place in the committee of nations,” he concluded.