Ghana needs to know how you spent COVID-19 expenditure; come and account – Babgin to Ofori-Atta

Ghana needs to know how you spent COVID-19 expenditure; come and account – Babgin to Ofori-Atta

Alban Bagbin and Ken Ofori-Atta

The Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin has directed the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta to come and account for Ghana’s COVID-19 expenditure.

He said the Minister should appear before the house to provide a detailed account of the expenditure.

He insisted that until that is done, the approval of the loan would be suspended.

“So I will complete my submission by directing that the Finance Minister should appear before this House and account for all the monies that have been approved for the utilisation of Covid-19 management.

“It is only then that this motion would be expressed on the floor again to approve or disapprove,” he noted.

According to Mr Bagbin, the legislative arm of government wield the power to make the executive accountable, therefore, his order is in line with making government transparent and accountable to the people.

“People of Ghana have been blaming the executive arm of government for some of these things, but I think it is Parliament that should be blamed. We have all it takes to make sure the right thing is done so it is Parliament that is weak.

The directive came after the Chairman of the Finance Committee, Kweku Kwarteng moved the motion for the approval of €75 million for the Covid-19 health response project.

The Speaker also earlier complained of how Parliament is being starved of funds by the Finance Ministry.

Speaking on the floor of Parliament, the Speaker said the Ministry is treating Parliament like a municipal assembly.

“It is not because I like declining your requests. It is because we don’t have the wherewithal to fund those operations.”

Mr. Bagbin also suggested that Parliament was deserving of more respect than it currently got.

“The Ministry of Finance should not treat Parliament like a ministry or NGO,” he said.

“This is an arm of government. We are not part of the MMDAs. We have even been written to, to reduce our budget in some cases by 50 percent,” he complained.

He further stressed that he would take responsibility for these financial constraints.

“If they want Parliament to run aground, they should let us know. The Speaker is not ready and prepared to be blamed for the inability to get Parliament going on just because we are not getting the necessary funding.”

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