President Akufo-Addo has revealed that an amount of GH¢17.7 billion representing 4.6% of GDP has been spent on containing the Covid-19 pandemic since 2020.
Addressing Parliament on his sixth State of the Nation Address, the President stated that Ghana has fared much better in fighting the pandemic than most African countries.
“Mr Speaker, we have saved lives and fared much better than we had feared and the experts predicted, but the consequences of lockdowns, border and business closures, and unplanned expenditures have combined to have a devastating impact on our economy.
“The unplanned expenditures included, but were not limited to, the recruitment, on a permanent basis, of fifty-eight thousand, one hundred and ninety-one (58,191) healthcare professionals, and the payment of extra incentives to our frontline health workers.
“It took an unbudgeted GH¢1.9 billion to ensure that our children and teaching staff went back and stayed in school safely. Some, including a few in this Honourable House, went as far as to accuse the government of trying to kill Ghanaian children when we introduced the controlled school re-openings. I might add here that, in some countries, school closures have lasted for twenty (20) months, and children are only now going back to school. Our children did not lose a single academic year.
“We provided nearly five million (5 million) households and over ten million (10 million) people with electricity and water subsidies at the time they were most needed. In all, data from the Ministry of Finance tells us that an amount of GH¢17.7 billion (or 4.6% of GDP) has been spent on containing the pandemic since 2020.”