Prof. Fred Binka — Ofori-Attah Breakdown of COVID Fund Use Unsatisfactory

Prof. Fred Binka

Prof. Fred Binka, a clinical epidemiologist, expressed his dissatisfaction with the manner the Finance Minister presented the breakdown of the COVID fund usage.

According to Prof. Binka, he was unable to determine from the presentation how much money the government actually spent on the pandemic-fighting measures that were actually implemented.

“I was completely disappointed,” he said on 3FM, the Hot Edition. “First of all, I struggled to find out how much was spent on the COVID itself.”

He said, “I can promise you that more than half of the vaccines I saw appeared to be donated, which was the only data I saw that suggested we were acting on COVID.”

According to Prof. Binka, the majority of the vaccines we have today were donated. The only way we can combat covid is if we have reagent and testing at this stage.

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“The issue about building hospitals, if you don’t test them how do you take them to the hospital. I was really disappointed, I am not an economist but I couldn’t see that line that showed that we were preparing ourselves against the pandemic by testing as frequently as we can and making sure that this diseases doesn’t make impact in this country.”

On Wednesday, June 22, Mr. Ofori-Atta came before the Parliament to account for the monies.

He informed the parliamentarians that “¢200m was made available for free water and electricity for lifeline consumers, out of this, ¢143m utilized” in the field of free water and electricity for lifeline users.

He continued by informing the House that “Though our response was bold and decisive and compassionate, it has also been costly. Mr Speaker, you will recall that on 30th March 2020, I made a statement to Parliament that the economic impact of Covid 19 pandemic on the economy of Ghana following the implementation of the coronavirus alleviation programme commenced.

“Furthermore, during the presentation of the 2020 mid year budget fiscal policy, I indicated that the supplementary request included the programme funding of ¢19.3billion from various funding sources to support the budget both directly and indirectly. On the expenditure side, an amount of ¢11. 16billion was programmed for Covid-19 related expenses. The difference of ¢8.14 billion was progarmme to provide for shortfall in revenue.

“In 2021, the budget programme of a total amount of ¢4.6billion for Covid-19 related expenses. It is worth noting that the Ministry of Finance mobilizes the needed financial resources whiles the various Covid-19 interventions and related expense were implemented by the relevant sector ministries and agencies.”