Ken Ofori-Atta expected in Parliament today to account for COVID-19 funds

The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta is expected in Parliament today to answer for government’s expenditure on the COVID-19 pandemic so far.

The Minister is also expected to answer different questions from various lawmakers in the house.

Ken Ofori-Atta had come under a lot of criticism from some members from the Minority side and the Speaker of Parliament for treating the house with disdain.

His absence from Parliament last Thursday caused the Speaker to place a moratorium on business from the ministry until all outstanding obligations to Parliament are fulfilled.

A 75 million Euro facility for a COVID-19 response programme was suspended pending the delivery of the account statement to the House by the Finance Minister.

But, he said Mr Ofori-Atta has not been able to show up in Parliament to give a breakdown of the utilization of the funds.

“Yes, last week, for good reasons, [his appearance in parliament] wasn’t possible and usually the Business Committee is given the opportunity to do the allotting. So the Minister for Finance was allotted today to come and answer a number of questions. The Minister is not available today, we are told.

“The Minister spoke to me why he is not available today but before today, I had given a directive and that directive was to the effect that the Minister should appear before this House to account for monies that we approved for him to use to lead the country as a ministry for us to see how we respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“A lot of questions have been raised in respect of that so he should come to account to the good people of how that state resources have been applied by his Ministry to the benefit of the people. I did indicate that until that is done, the motion that requested the approval of this house, for more monies to be given him, that is his ministry, for the purpose of Covid-19 be on the hold until he answers the questions, I think that still holds.

“I will go further to say that until the answer is provided, until he goes through the accountability process, we will not take that motion. With respect to the questions, well, today he has another request before us, that will also be affected, until he comes to respond to the questions and to submit the statement, given explanation, as to how that money has been applied, we will not entertain any business from that ministry, mark my words,” Mr Bagbin said.

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