General Secretary for the NDC, Asiedu Nketia has raised concerns over government’s plan to provide food for over 400, 000 Ghanaians during the COVID-19 fight.
President Akufo-Addo during his late-night address disclosed that the government has begun the distribution of free meals to over 400,000 Ghanaians in locked-down areas amidst the COVID-19 outbreak in Ghana.
In his address, Nana Akufo-Addo admitted the hardship the situation has brought on the majority of Ghanaians adding that there was however the need for the provision of “food packages and hot meals” to enable poor households to minimise their vulnerability.
“We are in difficult times, and that is why I directed the Minister for Finance to send to Parliament the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP), whose objective is to protect households and livelihoods, support micro, small, and medium-sized businesses, minimize job losses, and source additional funding for promotion of industries to shore up and expand industrial output for domestic consumption and exports.”
He added that, “through this Programme, the Ministries of Gender, Children and Social Protection and Local Government and Rural Development, and the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), working with MMDCEs and the faith-based organizations, have begun to provide food for up to four hundred thousand (400,000) individuals and homes in the affected areas of the restrictions. This begun in Accra and will begin in Kumasi the next day. It will come in the form of dry food packages and hot meals and will be delivered to vulnerable communities in Accra, Tema, Kumasi and Kasoa.”
Reacting to the announcement, Johnson Asiedu Nketia said there are issues with how the government is going to identify the needy in our society because for the fact that most people do not go to work, they may also need the intervention.
According to him, most often these interventions turn out to be what he describes as ‘in the name of the poor but for the benefit of the rich’.
He stated that there is no mechanism to verify if truly the food will get to the 400, 000 people, without this system of verification, the government can say they have provided for 400,000 Ghanaians and no one can verify it but we all just have to accept.
Asiedu Nketia also spoke about how the food will be disbursed and accompanying accountability, he argued that party members should not be allowed to head this programme to score political points.
But rather the local assemblies should be used for this purpose because it’s state intervention.