Former Deputy Finance Minister, Cassiel Ato Forson says President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo “lied” to Ghanaians about Ghana’s preparedness to fight the fast spread of Coronavirus.
The President, about a week ago, told Ghanaians that “I have ordered the Finance Minister to make available $100m” to fight the virus, when the country had not yet recorded a single case by then.
The amount, according to the President which is to “fund the expansion of infrastructure, purchase of materials and equipment, and public education,” would enable the country deal with the virus.
“I have, as at yesterday, ordered a suspension of all international travels by public officials.
“Except for critical assignments, which will have to be authorised by the Chief of Staff at the Office of the President, all public officials are to remain within the jurisdiction, until further notice. Video conferencing facilities and other technological tools are to be utilised, whenever possible, for international engagements,” the president added.
Now, Ghana has confirmed 7 cases with about 350 trace contacts.
$100 COVID-19 Funds Not Ready?
But on Tuesday, March 17th, at the behest of Parliament, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, appeared before the House to brief MPs and Ghanaians on the source of the said funds and how the government intended to fight the virus.
It later turned out that the $100 is not readily available, contrary to the president’s speech.
World Bank & IMF Support
In his briefing about the fiscal impact of Covid-19 which has crushed the international capital market, Mr. Ofori-Atta disclosed Ghana has applied to the World Bank to tap into a $12 billion fast track Covid-19 facility and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) $10 billion facilities to address the deadly virus.
“We are currently in discussion with the World Bank to tap into a US$12billion World Bank Group fast track COVID-19 facility to help close the financing gap. In addition, we are discussing with the International Monetary Fund to access part of a US$10 billion facility, made available by the IMF to address coronavirus through the Rapid Credit Facility. We are also discussing with other multilateral and bilateral partners on potential assistance to close the financing gap,” the Finance Minister stated.
“Not Being Truthful”
This according to Cassiel Ato Forson is “wrong” after urging the Nana Addo-led government to be “truthful” to Ghanaians in the future.
“This situation now is not an NPP, NDC issue; it’s a national problem with must all fight together,” he said in an interview with Kwasi Aboagye on NEAT FM’s morning show ‘Ghana Montie’.