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Which budget is ‘conciliatory’ Ofori-Atta seeking to amend? – Dzifa Gomashie asks.



Which budget is ‘conciliatory’ Ofori-Atta seeking to amend? – Dzifa Gomashie asks. 56

Dzifa Gomashie, Member of Parliament for Ketu South is pleased with what she calls the conciliatory tone adopted by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta during a December 6 press conference.

Ofori-Atta addressed the press on concerns raised around the 2020 budget and economic policy statement of the government.

In the process, he announced a number of measures taken by the government to cater for issues raised by the Minority and other key stakeholders, one of the concerns being the allocation of GHc10 million for a coastal sea defence project.

The Ketu South MP made comments on the new development when she spoke on Joy FM’s Top Story programme on Thursday, December 6.

“The reconciliatory tone of the Minister for Finance is good but I am not sure that we should be spending that kind of money for the feasibility study of a continuation of a project that is already going on.

“And if I may ask him, which budget is he working with? This is rather confusing to me, that we reject the budget, we have not got forward and he has this concession…so it is kind of hazy.”

On the subject of the allocation, she added: “The work was started in 2015. Phase One was completed in 2019. My expectation is that Phase Two is already captured but if it is not, spending that amount of money for the feasibility he must have some information I don’t have.

“We the NDC MPs sitting on Friday (November 26) rejected that budget, the speaker Alban Bagbin was seated, I have not heard anything contrary to that for him to be telling me money is available for the feasibility studies,” she added.

What Ofori-Atta said about the project at the press conference

Ofori-Atta spoke specifically to four issues in the 2022 budget about which he had written to the Speaker of Parliament to allow amendments to be made.

On the issue of the tidal waves, which had been a key demand by the Minority if they were to agree to the approval of the budget, he stated:

“In respect of the unfortunate tidal waves which rendered about 3,000 people homeless in Keta, we shall make the necessary budgetary allocations of at least GHS10 million to complete the Feasibility and Engineering studies for the coastal communities adversely affected.

“We will broaden the scope of the study to consider a more comprehensive solution to protect Ghana’s 540 Km of coastline, including the 149 Km between Aflao and Prampram.

“Meanwhile, NADMO has responded to the humanitarian crisis created by the tidal waves on the Keta coastline.”