Supporting budget with 46% of Covid-19 funds not wrong – Sylvester Tetteh on Auditor-General’s report

The Vice Chairman of the Communications Committee of Parliament says there is nothing wrong with using a portion of the Covid-19 funds to support the government’s budget.

According to Sylvester Tetteh, Parliament had been made aware that not all of the funds were going to be used to tackle the pandemic and its related issues.

Mr Tetteh, who doubles as the MP for Bortianor-Ngleshie Amanfro, stated that Parliament was informed that 46% of the Covid-19 funds were going to be used to support the government’s budget, an approach he said was a necessary alternative due to the inability of government to mobilize revenue to support the budget.

”Parliament was briefed that not all the inflows were going to go into direct Covid issues. About 46% was going into budgetary support. We know that this was occasioned as a result of our inability to raise revenue to support our budget.”

“So clearly people should not be quoting figures and saying that Covid came and we were expecting Covid expenditures here and there,” he added.

According to him, the expectation that the entire Covid funds ought to have been accounted for under the recent “special” Auditor General’s report is “wrong,” adding that the audit itself is not complete.

His comments follow the Auditor General’s revelation that the government spent GHS10 billion of the funds raised for Covid-19 operations on budget assistance.

The Auditor General reports that although a total of GHS21,844,189,185.24 was mobilized for the pandemic response, only GHS11,750,683,059.11 of the total was disbursed for the fight against the virus.

The rest, according to the A-G’s records, was used for budget support. “Of the total funds mobilized, GHS11,750,683,059.11 were used for Covid-19 activities while the remaining funds were used for budget support,” the report said.

Meanwhile, Mr Tetteh believes that it would be a problem should the Auditor General’s report always end at “surcharges and disallowances.”

He added that persons found guilty of any misappropriation should be prosecuted according to the law.

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