Akufo-Addo Blows Covid – 19 Cash: CSO Demand Accountability

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The Community Development Alliance (CDA), a Civil Society Organization based in Wa in the Upper West Region of Ghana is calling on the Parliament of Ghana to institute independent audit into the COVID-19 fund.

The group in its petition to Parliament has raised concern about how Ghc 12, 440,710,000 was source from the World Bank, IMF, Ghana Stabilization Fund, Contingency Fund of the stabilization Fund, Ghana Heritage Fund, Ghana Exim Bank and the Covid-19 Trust Fund were put to use during the pandemic.

The CSO was alarmed that Ghana could risk in serious corrupt malpractices with the fund from its managers.

The petition disclosed serious violation of procurement laws and irregular procurement practices that breached anti corruption laws, regulations, codes and international best practices.

Part of the corrupt activities uncovered includes contract worth Ghc 60m for fumigation services and logistics to all districts by the Local Government Ministry were without tender.

Another contract for the supply of 18,000 veronica buckets; 800,000 pieces of 200 milliliter sanitizers, 36,000 rolls of tissue paper; 36,000 gallons of liquid soap and 7,200 thermometer guns distributed to schools were also not tendered.

Contract for the provision of hot meals for 540,000 final year students and teachers who sat for the 2020 WASSCE and BECE exams for three weeks was opaque, with no full disclosure of who were awarded these contracts, from which fund the contracts were awarded and weather the contracts went through proper procurement processes.

Meanwhile, government is hit with the issue of non payment of 900 contact tracers employed by the Ghana Health Service to work on the case detection, contact tracing and reporting.

About $1.2million meant for the payment of these contact tracers could not be accounted for, 600 of the staff dropped out later due to various grievances, chief among them was the erratic payment of their daily $25 (150.00).

It was also uncovered that $1m contract awarded to develop the COVID-19 tracker app to two foreign companies namely iQuent Technologies and Ascend Digital Solutions raises substantial corruption issues.

Ascend Digital Solutions was registered just a month before contract award in Jersey, a tax haven and the contract sum appear bloated. Same applies to the Ghc 1.4m ($240,000) spent on the launch of the tracker.

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