An amount of GH¢401 million of COVID-19 funds was transferred to the National Identification Authority (NIA) and the Electoral Commission (EC) as additional support to ensure COVID-19 compliant registration and voting.
Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance, said due to the COVID-19 protocols, the EC and NIA had to increase their registration sites and recruit more personnel to ensure compliance during the registration and voting.
The Minister stated this on Wednesday on the floor of Parliament, when he presented his statement to the House, dubbed “Statement to Parliament on the COVID-19 Expenditure 2020/2021”.
On school re-opening, Mr Ofori-Atta said in September 2020, while other countries had closed all schools, the Government, with the advice of experts, took the bold decision to partially re-open schools to enable final year students write their final exams under strict COVID-19 protocols.
“This was largely successful with minimal infections amongst the students. An amount of GH¢1,119.73 million was allocated for Mass School Reopening in January, 2021,” he said.
“This was to ensure that all students and teachers were provided with infection prevention and control items. Total amount utilized was GH¢1,118.69 million.”
With regards to procurement of COVID-19 vaccines, Mr Ofori-Atta said the acceleration of sustained socio-economic recovery through advances in vaccine development required the mobilization of significant resources to enable the deployment of a mass vaccination programme.
He said the urgent need to vaccinate a target of 20 million people to achieve herd immunity and strengthen the health system in Ghana required that Government of Ghana made a significant allocation for the purchase of vaccines.
He noted that a total amount of GH¢929.30 million was therefore allocated in the 2021 Budget for the procurement of vaccines.
Mr Ofori-Atta said the National Deployment and Vaccination Plan (NDVP) estimated an amount of $51.6 million (GH¢301.86 million) to undertake the vaccination deployment.
He said a total amount of GH¢775.82 million was released for the purchase of Sputnik V, the Janssen COV SARS 2 COVID Vaccines and the Emergency deployment of vaccines in schools.
“As at 31st March 2022, a total of 5,424,450 vaccines had been supplied and received into the country,” Mr Ofori-Atta said.
He said since the commencement of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign on March 2, 2021, 14,268,269 doses of vaccines had been administered as at April 25, 2022.
“Mr Speaker, I believe that this presentation demonstrates Government’s commitment to accountability and transparency,” he stated.
“All programmed, mobilized and utilised funds have been duly reported on. As a government, we continue to operate an open-door policy and welcome any opportunity to engage in the national interest.”
He reiterated that never before, in the history of the Fourth Republic, had the entire Ghanaian economy and society experienced such severe shock occasioned by a single external event.
“Indeed, from independence to date, the Ghanaian economy has never faced such a sudden nationwide dramatic reduction in household and corporate economic activity. But, as the President said in one of his addresses to the nation during the coronavirus outbreak, “our survival is in our hands” and it continues to be in our hands.”