Member of Parliament for Kumbungu Constituency, Hon. Ras Mubarak has appealed to the Akufo-Addo government to include Ghanaians who have lost their jobs due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 in the stimulus package meant for small and medium scale enterprises.
According to him, even though the Minority in Parliament is in support of the government initiative to provide financial assistance to small and medium companies which are on the verge of collapsing due to new coronavirus, they rather have issues with the number of companies earmarked as beneficiaries of the stimulus package.
“This is because, the number of people whose jobs are destroyed due to the COVID-19 is huge; it has collapsed a lot of businesses and we are willing to ensure that Ghanaians get the necessary reliefs from the menace of the COVID-19 . . . the number of Ghanaians who have become jobless due the COVID-19 should equally be a matter of concern to the Akufo-Addo government as they worked for people whose companies are at the verge of collapsing or have collapsed," he argued.
Speaking on Okay FM’s Ade Akye Abia Morning Show, Ras Mubarak argued that the data on the number of people and companies that will benefit from the financial assistance must be provided by the Akufo-Addo government as it will help in proper accountability of how the Ghc600 million Cedis was disbursed.
“We are in support of the Akufo-Addo government giving support to those whose businesses have collapsed as a result of the COVID-19 but the problem is who are those people to begin with? What are their numbers? This is because you need all of this information for oversight purposes; for accountability,” he said.
He claimed it is the responsibility of the Minority to ensure proper account of the Ghc600 million Cedis.
“We cannot give all this money to the government without monitoring the government to render a proper account to Ghanaians. If the government says it is disbursing the money to people, are these people barbers, hairdressers, taxi, trotro, Uber drivers and how many are they in number?” he quizzed.
To him, inasmuch as National Board for Small Scale Industries have a role to play in the disbursement of the Ghc600 million Cedis, the Ministry of Employment must provide the data for the number of Ghanaians who have lost their jobs to the COVID-19 and ensure they benefit from the government stimulus package.
“If you recalled when the COVID-19 started and the government issued a partial lockdown, we were told that 400,000 people were fed daily and that the government was spending about Ghc1 million Cedis. It was extremely hard to verify those numbers, and the Ghc600 million Cedis government is about to disburse to those in small, medium scale enterprises and petty traders who have suffered due to the new coronavirus, we have to put proper measures in place to ensure proper accountability”.
“If the government has any support, before anybody can access the money that the government is giving to small, medium and petty traders, what happens to those who don’t have companies or as a result of the collapse of the companies they worked for, they have lost their daily bread? Those people have to be assisted; those are the ordinary Ghanaians,” Ras Mubarak pointed out.