THE Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, clarified on Wednesday that the government did not spend an amount of GH¢54 million on hot meals as being peddled around.
He said out of an estimated amount of GH¢40 million, the government spent only GH¢12 million to provide meals to vulnerable Ghanaians during the lockdown period, including the cost of distribution.
“It is truly unfortunate that an attempt has been made to politicize the issue of providing food for our brothers and sisters during the lockdown period. It is also unfortunate that an impression has been created that a total amount of GH¢54 million was used for the meals,” he said.
“Mr. Speaker, permit me to provide some clarification to the issue. We estimated that we would need an amount of GH¢40 million (not GH¢54 million) to provide meals to the vulnerable people during the lockdown period,” he added.
“However, out of the estimated amount, we spent GH¢12 million in providing the meals, including the cost of distribution,” he indicated.
The Finance Minister explained that government budgeted for GH¢40.3 million for basic consumptions and food items, and said the GH¢42 million was spent on uncooked food items, which brought the total figure to GH¢54 million as captured in the mid-year review.
According to him, a total of 150,000 people benefited from the GH¢12 million for hot meals during the lockdown, and added that this cost included operational and distribution cost.
Mr. Ofori-Atta disclosed that government, in collaboration with Faith-Based Organizations (FBOs), also distributed dry food packages to about 470,000 families.
The Minority in Parliament has questioned the amount asking for details after the minister’s presentation on Thursday, July 23, 2020.
By Ernest Kofi Adu, Parliament House