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Government Did Not Use COVID-19 As Cover For Corrupt Practices – Akufo-Addo Insists2 min read

Government Did Not Use COVID-19 As Cover For Corrupt Practices – Akufo-Addo Insists<span class="wtr-time-wrap after-title"><span class="wtr-time-number">2</span> min read</span>

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo emphatically stated that his government did not exploit the COVID-19 pandemic as a pretext for engaging in corrupt acts.

In a televised address to the nation on Sunday night, May 28, 2023, the President reassured the public, highlighting the courageous steps taken by his administration to protect citizens’ lives despite the unforeseen challenges posed by the pandemic.

“It took courage, and I am particularly happy that we reopened schools, colleges, and universities at the time we did, despite the fears of some parents and the criticism from our detractors. In some countries, millions of children did not return to school even after being closed for over a year. The logistics required to keep schools open were extensive and costly, but I am delighted that no Ghanaian child was left behind,” President Akufo-Addo expressed.

Addressing concerns about financial accountability, President Akufo-Addo assured the nation that COVID-19 expenditures, although unplanned, were audited by the Auditor-General at his request and are undergoing parliamentary scrutiny.

He emphasized the government’s commitment to transparency, stating, “We all deserve to be reassured that the crisis was not used as a cover for corrupt practices. The COVID Health Recovery Levy, implemented to help offset some of the expenditure, may not be the most popular tax, but I urge everyone to bear with us. The Covid Trust Fund has provided invaluable service and has now fulfilled its mandate. I express gratitude to the trustees, donors, and contributors to the fund.”

After presenting the current COVID-19 statistics in Ghana, President Akufo-Addo declared the pandemic officially over in the country.

This was arrived at after government’s COVID-19 Taskforce at a meeting on May 17 resolved to lift all remaining COVID-related restrictions at airports and entry points, returning to the pre-COVID situation regarding health entry requirements.

The government has faced criticism, particularly from the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), accusing it of irresponsible borrowing and misappropriation of public funds under the guise of the COVID-19 fight. The government, however, maintains that the expenditures were necessary and justified, attributing the country’s current economic challenges to the global pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war.

Akufo-Addo urged the nation to recognize the government’s efforts and the importance of financial accountability in navigating the COVID-19 crisis successfully.

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