SONA2023: We didn’t misuse COVID funds – Akufo-Addo
President Nana Akufo-Addo has denied claims that the government misused funds meant to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Auditor General in its COVID-19 expenditure report for the period March 2020 to June 2022 revealed that a total of GHC11,750,683,059.11 was expended by the government during the pandemic.
According to the Auditor General, the government paid over US$120 million to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT), but only US$38 million worth of the product was delivered.
However, delivering the State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Parliament on Wednesday (8 March), Akufo-Addo said the funds were used for the intended purpose and not abused for personal gains.
“Mr Speaker, it is precisely because the economic fallout from the pandemic is so widespread and long lasting that it is important to show clearly that the COVID funds were not misused,” he said.
“It is critical that we do not lose the confidence of the people that a crisis that they were led to believe we were all in together was abused for personal gain.”
“Mr Speaker, it was government that asked for the COVID funds to be audited, and I can assure this House that nothing dishonourable was done with the COVID funds. The responses from the Ministers for Health and Finance, on January 23 and 25, 2023, respectively, have sufficiently laid to rest the queries from the Auditor General’s report, and I believe any objective scrutiny of these statements from the Health and Finance Ministries would justify this conclusion,” Akufo-Addo said.