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What warranted the payment of Covid risk allowances to staff of Ministry of Information? – Sammy Gyamfi asks

The Communication Officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Sammy Gyamfi, has raised concerns about the GHS51,000 staff of the Information Ministry paid to themselves as Covid-19 risk allowance.

Speaking at the NDC press conference on Wednesday, Mr Gyamfi marveled at the staff’s decision to pay themselves such monies without prior approval.

“Senior management and supporting staff of the Ministry of Information were busy paying themselves a total amount of GHS151,000 as COVID-19 risk allowance without approval,” he said.

“One may ask, what risk did these staff of the Ministry of Information led by the Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah face to warrant the sharing of such a colossal amount of money among themselves as risk allowances without approval?” he lamented.

Sammy Gyamfi raised this concern at the Moment of Truth Series in Accra.

Also, describing an amount of GHS811,800 paid as allowances for the staff as ‘bizarre,’ he questioned the merit of such a payment without appropriate documents.

“What is even more bizarre, is the finding by the Auditor General that allowances totaling GH¢811,800.00 were paid to staff of the Information Ministry without adequate supporting documents. It also emerged at the height of the pandemic when frontline health workers complained about the lack of adequate PPEs, with some even losing their lives,” he added.

The party wants the staff of the Ministry to refund these unapproved allowances to the state.

It would be recalled that on January 22 the Auditor-General, Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu, directed that the Information Ministry refunds some ¢151,500 it paid to its own management and staff without approval.

This was revealed in the audit of Covid-19 transactions for March 2020 to June 2022.

The development reportedly ensued in 2020 during the lockdown at the height of the coronavirus pandemic in Ghana.

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