June 21, 2024
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Akufo-Addo’s silence on corruption loud – NDC

The National Chairman of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), has described the government of President Akufo-Addo as corrupt.

According to the NDC’s National Chairman, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia the president’s inaction in the fight against corruption has emboldened many of his officials, not least the Vice President, Alhaji Dr Bawumia.

He said the Vice President’s name has come up in multiple corruption scandals such as the PDS scandal, the shady Gold-for-Oil deal, the Stolen Rice scandal and the Appearance Fee scandal. 

Mr Nketia flayed the government when he delivered the NDC’s version of the State of the Nation Address dubbed the ‘True State of the Nation Address’ held at the University of Professional Studies on Monday, March 20, 2023.    

“President Akufo-Addo’s silence on corruption in his infamous address was loud. 

“It was as loud as his guilt. Evidently, corruption has defeated his family and friends government,” Mr Nketia said.

He added that the president and his vice instead of confronting this canker head-on, President Akufo-Addo has constituted himself into a “Corruption Clearing Agent, ever-willing to whitewash himself and any of his appointees who dabble in corruption, even before investigative processes commence.”

According to him, President Akufo-Addo’s misguided declaration that “nothing dishonourable was done with the COVID funds” adds to the litany of failed attempts to conceal the rot that has left many scandalised, following the publication of the Special Audit Report into COVID-19 funds by the Auditor-General.

“First, it was the Attorney General pretending to take umbrage to the publication of the report, then comes the ‘Chief Corruption Clearing Agent’ himself, even before the said report is considered by Parliament.

“How does President Akufo-Addo reasonably expect Ghanaians to accept as honourable, the Auditor-General’s finding, that COVID-19-related payments totalling more than GHS543 million (GHS543,058,709) were made to various service providers outside of the Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS), in clear violation of Regulation 61 of the Public Financial Management Regulations, 2019 (L.I 2378),” he asked.

He queried how the Auditor-General’s finding that medical equipment valued at nearly US$250,000 (US$247,404.79) which was procured with COVID funds and subsequently issued to some specific health facilities, did not reach the health facilities.

“I put it to you that there is everything dishonourable with the finding by the Auditor General that a company known as Modern Security Printers Limited which was awarded a contract to conduct public education on COVID-19 safety protocols for students at an outrageous cost of GH¢1,456,310.00 has been paid in full for no work done,” he charged.

He argued that there is everything dishonourable with the damning finding by the Auditor-General that cash payments totalling GHS11,999,444.00 to caterers who provided hot meals during the three weeks of partial lockdown were all retired with “honour certificates” instead of receipts and that, other COVID-19 related payments to caterers totalling GH¢5,638,684.00 were neither backed by receipts nor honour certificates.

He reminded the president that the government’s management of COVID-19 funds cannot be said to be honourable when the Auditor General could not verify bills and validate dubious payments amounting to GHS37,609,791.71 by the Ministry of Finance to NGOs and Private Individual Water Providers for the provision of so-called free water.

“Also, it is dishonourable for officials of the Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah-led Ministry of Information to line their pockets with COVID funds under the guise of risk allowances meant for frontline health workers. It is the height of cruelty for COVID funds which were meant to save lives during a public health crisis to have been looted and misappropriated in this bizarre manner,” he admonished.

He said: “Despite the desperate attempt by the ‘Chief Corruption Clearing Agent’ to sweep these serious crimes under the carpet, one thing which will tarry for ages to come, is how the COVID-19 pandemic became a corruption bonanza and a milking cow for President Akufo-Addo and his officials to cream state resources in the most obscene manner.”

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