Covid-19: Over GH¢29m spent on 3 isolation centres never used – AG report

The Auditor-General’s report on the government’s Covid-19 expenditure has revealed that three treatment, isolation and holding centres completed at a total cost of GH¢29,173,259.90 were yet to be put to use.

The report states that the Project Engineers explained that civil works, refurbishment, and the necessary equipment had been provided awaiting the Ministry of Health to take over for use.

The report added that if the completed facilities are not put to use as early as possible, they could deteriorate, and the investment will go down the drain.

The report also reveals that the Ministry of Health entered into a 25–year Finance Lease Agreement at a total lease value of GH¢15,265,000.00 in 2020 for a building to be used as a holding and isolation centre in Adaklu in the Volta Region.

The facility was, however, never used for the intended purpose.

The report which covers the period of March 2020 to June 2022 revealed that the works, include remodelling the existing buildings to be used as holding, treatment and isolation centres but failure to use the facility for the intended purpose has resulted in an additional cost of GH¢20,382,247.70.

“We observed that the Ministry of Health entered into a 25–year Finance Lease Agreement with QHC Project Limited at a total lease value of GH¢15,265,000.00 in April 2020. The underlying assets were uncompleted buildings in Adaklu in the Volta Region which were managed by QHC Project Ltd.

Over $80 million worth of vaccines paid for by the government was also not delivered, according to the report.

According to the Auditor General, the government paid over $120 million to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) for vaccines but only $38 million worth was delivered.

The Auditor General has thus recommended to the Chief Director of the Health Ministry to renegotiate and recover the outstanding balance.

This, according to the Auditor General must be done immediately to ensure the amount is recovered to the state.

“We noted that the Ministry of Health on behalf of the government of Ghana paid an amount of $120,192,379.80 to UNICEF/AVAT for the supply of vaccines.

“However, 5,109,600.00 doses of vaccines valued at $38,322,000.00 were supplied to the National Cold Room leaving a difference of US$81,870,379.00 with UNICEF/AVAT.”