The Africa Centre for Public Policy Watch (ACPPW) and the Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health (GCNH) have called on the government of Ghana to protect the funds provided towards combatting Covid-19 from being misappropriated by unscrupulous public officials and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
ACPPW and GCNH commended the government for initiating and leading the mobilisation of relief for vulnerable citizens in the country and for addressing the plight of those who are adversely affected by measures put in place to check the spread of Covid-19. In a statement jointly issued by the two organisations, they said, ‘We call for key anticorruption safeguards in its [Covid-19] stimulus support. This we believe will ensure that the funds provided by the taxpayer and benevolent society will go towards fighting the virus and support the vulnerable and are not misappropriated by corrupt actors. The public has taken note of the numerous support coming from various corporate citizens and individuals. This is the more reason we need to ensure that all the support that is being realised, both in cash and in-kind, do not end up being stolen by unscrupulous public officials and NGOs’.
ACPPW and GCNH also noted that Ghana has a history of poor management and misappropriation of public funds. The two organisations said that they had therefore come up with measures to protect the Covid-19 funds. They said, ‘All contributions (totals) in cash should be published every two days. This will enable the public, for that matter all stakeholders, to appreciate exactly how much is being committed to Covid-19 activities. Secondly, we recommend a biweekly publication of all expenses on the intervention. This we believe, will go a long way to strengthen transparency and accountability and further boost public confidence in the entire exercise’.
‘Thirdly, we urge all citizens to activate their civic responsibility under the Whistleblower’s Law, to ensure the information that could help expose corrupt actors are shared with the appropriate antigraft institutions. This will go a long way to help the government take whatever actions are necessary and appropriate to recoup funds and or punish culprits. Fourthly, we appeal to the government to demonstrate an ability to prosecute corrupt officials and any other person or group of persons who may misappropriate, steal or mismanage funds dedicated to anti-Covid-19 activities’, the two organisations added.
Source: Ghana Web
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