Covid Audit: Ghs151,000 a ‘Small Risk Compensation’ – Oppong Nkrumah Responds to Auditors

Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, who is mired in a Covid-19 scandal, said the amount of money flagged by auditors is “small compensation” compared to the enormous risk his team faced in the pandemic.

The Minister who abandoned government communications in the wake of the Domestic Debt Swap Program authorized an audit response to the suspected COVID-19 “Chop Chop” in December 2022.

The Auditor General Report said that the ministry led by Oppong Nkrumah allegedly squandered some 151,500 Ghc as Covid allowances.

Parts of the Auditor General’s report say that the Management of the Ministry of Information and its support staff who are not health workers paid themselves an amount of Ghc151,500 as a risk allowance to go to work in the wake of COVID-19. 19.

The Auditor General believes that these monies should be reimbursed by the Management and the staff of the Ministry of Information who were beneficiaries.

But Oppong Nkrumah’s ministry claims the amount is only a “small compensation”.

“The fear of contracting the virus became a demotivating factor for the officers to continue doing their best under the circumstances. As you know, the ministry is in the business of providing relevant and timely information to save lives, and as a result, we needed to motivate officers. as a small compensation because of the risk they faced working during the pandemic period,” said the ministry’s response dated December 14, 2022 to the external auditors.

“It will also be recalled that during the lockdown period, most MDAS staff sat at home as a way of curbing the spread of the disease, while Ministry of Information staff were forced to go to work under the special authorization. assignment given to the ministry by the President when he ordered that the Ministry of Information should be the leader in risk communication and community engagement.

“Furthermore, the ministry set up a 24-hour information desk at the digital hub, near Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra, where the general public had an opportunity to call and report cases related to COVID-19 and also seek information regarding a of the prevention and management of COVID-19 cases,” the memo continued.

“The center also served as a link between critically ill COVID-19 patients and the ambulance service to pick them up quickly. Management needed to engage desk officers and supervisors to ensure the center continues to provide services to the public 24 hours a day,” the memo concluded.

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