Govt Blows GHC17.7bn On Covid-19

President Nana Akufo-Addo

The Government of Ghana since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic from 2020 has spent about GHC17.7 billion
President Nana Adoo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who announced this when delivering the 2022 State of the Nation address in Parliament on Wednesday, said, “In all, data from the Ministry of Finance tells us that an amount of GHC17.7 billion (or 4.6% of GDP) has been spent in containing the pandemic since 2020.”
According to President Akufo-Addo, the economic devastation of COVID-19 has, since the beginning of this year, been further aggravated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has worsened the economic outlook of the entire world.

“We, in Ghana, have not escaped this development, and the consequences are being felt in rising living costs at our markets and fuel stations. The terrible events in Ukraine have a direct impact on our lives here in Ghana.
“Mr. Speaker, 30% of our wheat flour and fertilizer imports come from Russia. 60% of iron rods and other metal sheets are imported from Ukraine, and almost 20% of Ghana’s manganese is shipped to Ukraine,” he added.

“The bombs might be dropping on cities half a world away but they are hitting our pockets here in Ghana. Even so, we have managed to ensure that fuel supplies have not been disrupted, unlike in several other parts of the world” he added.

The President also noted that the Presidential Vaccine Manufacturing Committee has put in place a comprehensive strategy to establish a National Vaccine Institute that will produce a vaccine in January 2024.

According to him, “The Presidential Vaccine Manufacturing Committee, which I set up to respond to this obvious deficiency, has put in place a comprehensive strategy for domestic vaccine production, and the establishment of a National Vaccine Institute to implement the strategy, which will enable us to begin the first phase of commercial production in January 2024’’.

He said a National Vaccine Institute will be established to carry out the strategy, adding that “I decided to prioritize the saving of lives, and, then, we would get together to rebuild our economy. Nobody imagined the devastation would be so widespread and last so long.”

President Akufo-Addo further noted that “We had to learn some very hard lessons, and our
belief in the need to be self-sufficient was reinforced when vaccine nationalism was played out blatantly by the rich and powerful countries. A Bill will shortly be brought to you, in this House, for your support and approval for the establishment of the National Vaccine Institute.”

He added that “We could not have been prepared for the catastrophe that hit us, even the richest economies with the most sophisticated structures were unprepared”.

-BY Daniel Bampoe