GACC organise Covid-19 funds accountability forum in Savelugu

Story: Rahamatu-Lahi Zakaria | Producer, Breakfast Live Show

Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) on Wednesday, 16th February 2022 held a stakeholder engagement for citizens, heads of department of government institutions, the Savelugu Municipal Assembly and other development partners regarding the assembly expenditure on Covid-19 from 2020 to 2021 in the municipality.

The Forum titled ‘Accountability Platform to discuss COVID-19 Expenditure monitoring findings is part of the activities under the ‘COVID-19 Accountability Bridges: providing platforms for Engaging Government on Transparent and Accountable Covid-19 Expenditure’ project funded by the US Embassy and implemented by GACC seeks to provide accountability platforms in Metropolitan, Municipal, District Assemblies (MMDAS) to discuss Monitoring findings on COVID-19 Expenditure which was carried out in the last quarter of 2021. The monitoring was carried out by the LANet of Savelugu Municipal in collaboration with SWIDA and GACC.

The project lead from GACC, Mr Abdulai Imoro speaking at the forum reiterated the reason for the convening. ‘’The project is about Covid-19 transparency and accountability. When we had our first case of Covid-19, a lot of funds were committed from the government and others were sourced from international agencies and within our own settings, we were able to set up the Covid1-19 National Trust Fund to help fight the spread of Covid-19. Now, concerns have always been, these funds that we have been able to generate and receive from these external agencies, are they judiciously using these resources to fight Covid-19, or someone somewhere is profiting from it. Because people make money out of government funds.’’

‘’As part of the project, we try to create platforms for government to account to the people on how funds are being managed and also use that same platform for the citizens to ask questions regarding things that they do not understand. So one of the platforms is what we are doing today known as the accountability platform.’’ He added

In their presentation, the group (LANet) revealed how much was received and spent between 2020 and 2021 in the municipality to curb the pandemic while also raising the funding challenges the assembly faced. These funding challenges include uncontrolled market centres, minimal public education on the pandemic, inadequate sanitation facilities, Rapid urbanisation, etc.

After the presentation was made, the citizens also took turns to make their case and seek some clarifications from the assembly and other departmental heads who were present. One of them was from the persons with disability fraternity and he asked why there was no special treatment for them during the pandemic when interventions were rolled out to support citizens. 

Another issue that was raised was that of NBSI. The technical person at NBSSI at the Savelugu municipal assembly asserted that most people did not get funding because their application was not properly done. ‘’Not everyone carrying a laptop around is knowledgeable enough to register people. Those who came to the assembly premises and did their registering will testify that they had the funding’’. He said.

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