The National Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress, Sammy Gyamfi, has called for the immediate dismissal of the Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah.
Addressing a press conference at the party’s headquarters on Wednesday, during the ‘Moment of Truth Series’, he said the mismanagement of COVID-19 funds by his Ministry, does not make him fit to stay at post.
Mr. Sammy Gyamfi explained that according to the recent Auditor-General’s report on COVID-19 expenditure, senior management and supporting staff of the Information Ministry paid themselves an amount of GH¢151,000 as ‘COVID-19 risk allowance’ without approval.
He said another disturbing revelation by the Auditor-General was allowances totaling GH¢811,800.00, paid to the staff of the Information Ministry without adequate supporting documents.
Based on these concerns, he urged the President to terminate the appointment of Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, as well as other officials complicit in the mismanagement of the COVID-19 funds.
“We call on the Special Prosecutor to investigate all Ministers and public officials who have been cited in the report for wrongdoing and bring them to book.
President Akufo-Addo must immediately fire the Minister of Finance, his Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman Manu, the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the CEO of the National Food Buffer Stock Company and all other officials who have been cited in the report for violating the laws of the country in their expenditure of COVID-19 funds”, he said.
Mr. Gyamfi stressed that the National Democratic Congress is poised to ensure that all persons who tampered with funds during the pandemic are brought to book.
“It is very clear that while COVID-19 may have been a national health disaster for Ghana, it was a bonanza and an avenue for officials of the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government and the New Patriotic Party to engage in the most obscene plundering of state resources never seen before in Ghana’s history.
“We wish to make it clear that we cannot and will not accept any situation where the Ghanaian people will be further punished and made to suffer for the willful mismanagement and destruction of our economy while the thieves in government who continue to milk the state coffers dry are left off the hook to enjoy their loot.
“We shall not sit aloof and watch the mother serpent of corruption, President Akufo-Addo and his Appearance-Fee-Collection Vice, Alhaji Bawumia whitewash this audit report and sweep it under the carpet as they have done in time past. Enough is enough!”, Sammy Gyamfi stated.
Meanwhile, the Auditor-General has asked the Information Ministry to refund all monies which were spent without the necessary approvals.
This was contained in its report, detailing how monies received during the era of the pandemic were spent by respective state agencies.
The Auditor-General’s report revealed that during the pandemic, Ghana received funds from sources such as the World Bank, the International Monitory Fund, the African Development Bank, the European Union, the Contingency Fund and the sale of BOG-COVID-19 Bonds among others.
Through these avenues, the country accumulated a total of twenty-one billion, eight-hundred and forty-four million, one-hundred and eighty-nine thousand, one-hundred and eighty-five Ghana Cedis, twenty-four pesewas (GHS 21,844,189,185.24).
The report however observed that out of the total amount, the government only used GH¢11, 750,683,059.11on COVID-19 activities; with the rest being used on budget support.
But the NDC says the supposed budget support was “the Akufo-Addo Bawumia government’s euphemism for their reckless and wasteful election-driven expenses which resulted in an unprecedented budget deficit of 15.7% in the year 2020”.