A former Acting General Secretary of the Convention People's Party (CPP), James Kwabena Bomfeh, alias 'Kabila', has reacted to the Auditor-General's report recently released into the public domain disclosing some financial malfeasance.
The report outlined government's expenditure made during the COVID-19 pandemic from the period between March 2020 to June 2022.
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 gathered that the Ministry of Health "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" and recommended that the "Chief Director should seek retroactive approval to avoid disallowance of such variation amount".
The Ministry "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 disclosed 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".
To Err Is Human
James Kwabena Bomfeh, speaking during "Kokrokoo" show on Peace FM Wednesday morning, raised concerns about the report.
"Auditor-General's reports in general are not a finality or conclusive in themselves.  This Auditor-General's report that has been released is not the usual Auditor-General's report that comes at the end of the year. It is a special purpose Auditor-General's report on COVID-19 expenditure," he said, adding that this report was at the behest of government.
"It was the Presidency that asked the Auditor-General to do this audit," he revealed.
Kabila called for patience to prevail to allow for the right decisions to be taken in respect of the findings by the Auditor-General and accusations made against some people said to have engaged in the financial misappropriation regarding the COVID-19 funds.
"My position is that let's be patient. Some names have been mentioned and allegations leveled against them. We have said some people have mismanaged some money," he said and stressed that, "President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is not working with Angels. He, himself, isn't an Angel. Even Moses who had 80 years of pupilage into leadership even made a mistake. So, the President can err and indeed there can be no great achievement without error".
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