The Member of Parliament for the North Tongu Constituency, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa is alleging that the government has intentionally kept away from the public’s eye an approval of a US$200,000.00 financial aid by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for the country.
According to the Minority caucus member of parliament, intercepted documents indicate that the West African bloc has approved the said amount following Ghana’s application for same.
The approved amount, he said is meant for supporting the Akosombo dam spillage flood victims.
“Why has the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government concealed from Parliament and the Ghanaian people that they had additionally applied to ECOWAS for financial support for the Akosombo dam spillage flood victims?”
Intercepted documents from the ECOWAS Commission show that ECOWAS has approved US$200,000.00 (GHS2.4million) following Ghana’s application,” he said on his X (Twitter) handle.
He added that the government was aware of the approval of the amount but the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta did not make mention of it while he was presenting the 2024 budget on November 15, 2023.
“When Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta presented the 2024 Budget on November 15, 2023 — he only disclosed government’s applications to the World Bank and the Global Shield Against Climate Risk Fund. (Reference: paragraphs 29 and 30 at page 5 of 2024 Budget).”
Mr. Ablakwa alleged that the approval of the $200 thousand was done two weeks ahead of the budget reading and therefore questions how that was left out of the presentation by Finance Minister in Parliament.
The copy of the alleged approved letter was posted by the MP on his X handle.
According to the said approved letter dated Abuja December 13, 2023 and signed by the Commissioner, Human Development Affair, Prof. Fatou Sarr, “The President of the ECOWAS acknowledges receipt of your letter and express its sincere sympathy and solidarity with victims of the spillage of the Akosombo Dam.”
“The President of the ECOWAS Commission notes with great concern the magnitude of the disaster as evidenced in the report you attached which shows that almost 36,000 persons were affected.”
“In view of the huge humanitarian impact on the affected population which forms part of the ECOWAS criteria for humanitarian assistance, the Commission has approved the sum of Two hundred thousand United States Dollars ($200,000.00 USD) to support the resilience building and recovery of the affected population,” the letter said.
The Commission has also asked the government to undertake some four measures to facilitate the commencement of the implementation of the aid.
View below the letter in full
Meanwhile, Mr. Ablakwa has assured the public that the Minority caucus in parliament will demand full disclosure on the approved financial aid.
“The NDC Caucus in Parliament shall be promptly demanding full disclosure and total accountability on all government requests for funding submitted to international organizations and how these funds are being utilized.”