An audit report on the government of Ghana’s COVID-19 expenditure has shown that nearly 50 per cent of the money the state mobilised to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country was used for budget support and not issues related to the outbreak.
The report, which was prepared by the Auditor General Department, indicated that the government raised nearly GH¢22 billion, as of June 2022, to fight COVID-19 in Ghana through the Contingency Fund, the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the European Union (EU).
However, out of the total amount raised to fight COVID-19 only about GH¢12 billion (a little over 50 percent of the total funds raised) was used for activities geared toward fighting the spread of the virus and its impact in Ghana.
“We noted from our examination of the records that the amount of GH¢21,844,189,185.24 were sourced from the Contingency Fund, the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the European Union (EU) and the sale of BOG-COVID-19 Bonds for the 2020, 2021 and 2022 Fiscal Years to finance the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme and implementation of the Ghana COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan as well as Budgetary Support
“Out of GH¢21,844,189,185.24 mobilised, GH¢11,750,683,059.11 was spent on COVID-19 activities and the rest on budget support. On COVID-19 activities, we noted that GH¢8,658,496,124.96 was spent in 2020, GH¢3,084,311,725.45 in 2021 and GH¢7,875,208.70 in 2022 to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Ghana,” parts of the report read.
The A-G report also uncovered that the government paid during the period of March 2020 and June 2022 paid an amount of $80 million for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines.
However, the vaccines have since not been delivered to the country.
The audit report on the government’s COVID-19 expenditure comes after calls by Ghanaians, including Members of Parliament from the minority, for a probe after allegations of misappropriation of funds raised to fight the virus.