US$2.1 billion COVID Money Develops Wings Through Corrupt Contracts-Group

Civil society group Community Development Alliance (CDA) has accused the government of siphoning a staggering US$2.1 billion of COVID-19 funds secured from development partners into unknown use.

The CDA in its latest report said the amount was misused because of blatant procurement breaches in the allocation of COVID-19 contracts.

The group also accused the government of corruption, indicating there were substantial breaches of anti-corruption laws, regulations, codes and international conventions and best practices.

The report said the government virtually misused the GHS12,440,710,000 ($2,144,950,000) secured from sources such as the World Bank, IMF, Ghana Stabilisation Fund, Contingency Fund of the Stabilisation Fund, Ghana Heritage Fund, Ghana Exim Bank and the Covid-19 Trust Fund set up by the government.

The report highlighted a particular instance where suspicious contracts worth US$ 10 million were awarded to four Ghanaian garment manufacturing companies through the Ghana Exim Bank to produce Personal Protective Equipment, face masks, medical scrubs, hospital gowns and headgears. 

The companies were reportedly not asked to bid but were handpicked by the regime. 

“The companies were also not registered with the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) at the time of contract award,” CDA stated in its report.

Other questionable contracts include the GH¢60million awarded to the waste management company Zoomlion Ghana for fumigation services; and an opaque contract awarded to Frontiers Healthcare Solution Services Limited to conduct Covid-19 antigen tests at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) which was without tender.

Indeed, at the time Frontier was awarded its mouth-watering contract, the company was not registered with PPA and unlicensed by the health facilities regulator, HEFRA. It has only been incorporated less than three months as a fresh entity when it was given the blanket contract.

The reports went ahead to list scores of questionable contracts which all tallied to the staggering US$2.1 billion.

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