The Health Minister-designate says persons in charge of funds meant for the fight against Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, must be cautious of their actions because a day to account for their activities will come.
Dr Bernard Okoe-Boye in response to a question posed by North Tongu MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, during his vetting Wednesday said, “it is sufficient enough to remind those who will supervise the disbursement that the day of accountability will come so that they take that caution or reminder on board.”
Mr Ablakwa had asked if Dr Okoe-Boye will support the setting up of a bi-partisan committee to oversee the expenditure of Covid-19 funds in order to avoid scandals that have been associated with Ebola in other African countries.
He cited a case in Democratic Republic of Congo where a former Health Minister and his financial advisor were jailed for five years, for embezzling more than $400,000 from the country’s Ebola response funds.
Also, the government in Liberia is investigating a case of fraud and corruption in the disappearance of some $5 million in aid money meant for the Ebola fight.
And as government receives millions of dollars to aid its fight against the coronavirus pandemic, Mr Ablakwa suggested the establishment of a committee to oversee its disbursement.
While Dr Okoe-Boye supports the suggestion, he believes the setting up of a committee even as the battle to handle the pandemic in still in force, will not be worthwhile.
“Trying to form a committee while the war is on, would be like a coach or a technical person trying to access players while the match is on.
Maybe from the bench, you can remind the players that we will come to the room and discuss your strategies so position yourself well.”
After the pandemic has been controlled, however, that can be done, he stated.
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