The Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has said the allocation of some 500 million Ghana cedis to the presidency is too high, and cannot be justified.
The MP has accused the presidency of defying the country’s austere conditions to allocate a huge amount of 1.5 billion cedis – the highest ever allocation to the presidency in the history of the country.
This is in spite of the fact that, about one billion of the 1.5 billion is going to be used for several of the government’s special projects announced in the budget statement.
Speaking to Citi News’ Duke Mensah Opoku, the former Deputy Education Minister said there is no purpose tied to these funds especially when the governing NPP is claiming that the budget for several sectors has been cut down.
“The justification which honourable colleague Members of Parliament sought to provide cannot be justified. We are talking about a staggering 1.5 billion, an allocation of 1.5 billion cedis. If you look at the 2016 budget, the allocation to the office of government machinery was in the region of 700 million cedis. Now if you come to even combine 4 year allocations; 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015,if you combine all those allocations to the office of government machinery , you will get 1.3 billion. It is still less than 1.5 billion cedis which has been allocated in just one year to the office of government machinery, and the point I was making is that, this is the year that the President and the Finance Minister are appealing to Ghanaians that there are too many rigidities in the budget.”
Allocations meant for special projects
In response, the Member of Parliament for Obuasi West, Kwaku Kwarteng, explained on Eyewitness News that over one billion of the amount allocated to the presidency will be used for special projects.
“GHC 1.56 billion has been allocated to the office of the President, the question we are asking is that, what are we using it for?In this year, we are rolling out many fresh initiatives. One district,one factory; one village, one dam, the Zongo Development Initiative and all those special initiatives whose cost come up to about 1 billion, are all sitting in the budget of the office of the President so the 500 or so that Honourable Okudzeto is talking about is what is left for the office of the government machine to do the traditional things”
He wondered why Okudzeto Ablakwa will raise concerns about the amount of money going to the presidency when an excess of 700 million went to the same office just last year.
“…Just last year, after allocation, actuals, government allocated in excess of 700 million to the office of the President which is more than the 500 that we are allocating this year, so I find it very hard to understand why anybody will be interpreting this. It is lower than what was done last year.”
By: Marian Ansah/citifmonline.com/Ghana