The Akufo-Addo government, has shockingly revealed it spent a whopping 53 million cedis in evacuating some stranded Ghanaians during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, informed Parliament about the outrageous expenditure, saying it covered over 10,000 Ghanaians who were evacuated from countries across the world during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
The amount, covering airfares, quarantine, food, and insurance in just five months. It is unclear, if the expenditure has been audited.
The Foreign Minister was answering questions from North Tongu Member of Parliament (MP) Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa.
The Minister, further disclosed that though there were 10,025 stranded Ghanaians during the exercise between 23rd May 2020 and 18th September 2020, government only spent on the vulnerable constituting about 5,000.
According to her, this was part of efforts by the government to come to the aid of many nationals who were stranded abroad due to the pandemic.
She gave the breakdown as $1.5 million expended on the cost of airfare for evacuees from the UAE, China, Lebanon West, and Central Africa while GHS44 million was spent on quarantine for the evacuees in hotels in Accra.
“The government successfully evacuated a total of 10,025 Ghanaians during the evacuation exercise which began on 23rd May 2020. The exercise ended on the 18th September 2020,” the Minister said.
The countries from which Ghanaians were evacuated included the United States, China, Kuwait, Germany, Ukraine, Canada, among others.
Several Ghanaians from different parts of the world had called on the government to evacuate them when the Coronavirus pandemic was at its peak.
The government covered the cost of travel and quarantine for Ghanaians arriving from China, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, UAE and all evacuations undertaken within West Africa.
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