In August 2020, I wrote to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) to request, among others, how much it cost Ghana to undertake the fumigation and disinfection of markets in order to curb the spread of Covid-19. The ministry responded swiftly.
In a letter dated August 25, 2020 and signed by the sector minister Hajia Alima Mahama, the Ministry said it spent Ghc 76, 561,681.06 for Phase One of the exercise and another Ghc 76, 561,681.06 for Phase Two of the exercise.
This means the Ministry spent Ghc 153,123,361 on the two exercises.
The ministry later conducted Phase Three of the exercise.
The ministry added that, for Phase Two of the exercise, there was a “variation being processed for additional cost on public toilets.”
What this means is that the cost of Phase Two was going to be higher than that of Phase One.
The ministry had awarded the contract and completed Phase Two of the exercise a month before I wrote the letter. But it did not tell me how much was being added to the cost of Phase Two.
This is not the only anomaly in the figures the ministry gave me.
When the Minister of Finance, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, presented the supplementary budget to parliament on July 23, 2020, he said the government had spent GHc122 million, being “allocation from Budget to support Fumigation and management of landfill sites.”
The GHc 122 million the finance minister presented on only Phase One is close to the total cost of Phase One and Phase Two that the ministry gave me.
I wrote again to the ministry in September 2020 for an explanation on why its figure was lower than the one presented by the finance minister. According to the Right to Information Law based on which the request was made, the ministry was supposed to have responded to my request within 14 days.
Our estimates from the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development show that about 500 million cedis was spent by the two ministries on this needless and fraudulent exercise. Other ministries also engaged in their own fumigation and disinfection exercise.
Assemblies that had the capacity to carry out their own disinfection were asked to stop so that Zoomlion would do it at additional costs.
These and other compelling details are contained in this investigative documentary. It provides compelling evidence of how the Covid-19 spraying projects in the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and the Ministry of Education ended up being a waste of state resources. The sprayings were initiated by President Akufo-Addo.
Watch the full documentary below:
The Covid-19 spraying scandal initiated by president Akufo-Addo