The World Bank Country Director for Ghana, Pierre Frank Laporte, has expressed satisfaction with the manner in which the government of Ghana spent some $430m that the insitution gave to the country to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Laporte, barring a few accounting issues here and there, the World is satisfied with how the funds were spent and do not feel they were wasted.
Speaking with TV3, Laporte said: “We know each and every dollar that is spent and accounted for. We have done audits,”
“There are always a few things here and there and some documentation that needs to be followed, but largely speaking, we are very satisfied that our resources were spent in line with the procurement requirements that existed.” he said.
The World Bank gave Ghana $430m at the height of the pandemic to help deal with its aftereffects.
Another $130 million was later expended to Ghana for the purchase of vaccines.
Despite rampant suspicion that government misused the money, the World Bank maintains everything was on the up and up.
“All the funds for COVID were not spent”, Mr Laporte pointed out. “There were immediate things to be spent on, but there was also construction and procurement of equipment. We don’t feel that our resources have not been properly spent,”
In a related portion of the interview, Laporte pointed out some bad energy contracts signed by the Mahama administration had saddled the current government with expensive obligations, ensuring the sector always records huge losses.
“The big issue has been on the fiscal side. Before the current crisis happened, we observed certain challenges on the budget side that really has been the area more hit by everything. Also where actions are required now to deal with them.
“For instance, on the revenue side we have always been saying that this is an area where Ghana should do better. We are encouraged by the fact that this should be one of the areas for potential programme and support from the World Bank. The problem is fiscal, not just revenue. The problem is that there are also spillovers from other sectors, or instance, the energy sector. There is about one billion dollars going to the energy sector because of losses. The sector itself is not financial viable and to keep it going you have to subsidize.“ Laporte said.