The Sanitation and Water Resources Minister, Cecilia Dapaah, is getting one of the biggest allowances next year to spend on her entertainment, her clothes, as well as her watchmen, despite President Akufo-Addo’s admission that the times are tough.
Parliament, approved GH¢246,966,071, being the budget estimates for the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources for the 2019 Financial Year, and out of the amount, the Finance Ministry, will release a whopping GHc151,000.00 to the minister to blow to as security, clothing and entertainment allowance.
The amount is different from what she will be taking home at the end of every month as her salary. She also has a policemen protecting her state bungalow as well as a police bodyguard who are being paid by the state with taxpayers.
It is unclear if this amount cuts across all the ministries with all the 112 ministers in the Akufo-Addo government getting GHc151, 000.00 as allowances for their watchmen, their clothing and entertainment.
But the Minority Spokesperson on Water Resources, Works and Housing, Sampson Ahi, described allocation as of wasteful expenditure.
“When I was there, I was never given a clothing and entertainment allowance. Recruitment into the security is about GHC 81,000. Watchman allowance GHC36,000. Clothing allowance GHC 18,000 and another entertainment allowance GHC 16,000. They are duplicating the expenses”, the former Deputy Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, lamented,
The Bodi MP in an interaction with some journalists, insisted that the expenditure items such as GHc18,000 meant for entertainment allowances and a host of other allocations do not depict a ministry that is judiciously using the country’s meagre resources.
“We don’t need to provide money to the Minister to provide entertainment. I was expecting him to provide answers to it. When I was in office for four years, we never had a budget line called entertainment allowance.”
The Minority representative on the Water Resources Committee of Parliament Sampson Ahi told Starr News the allocations have been duplicated.
“We are giving money to the Minister [Cecilia Dapaah] and the Ministers entertainment allowance, we have watchman allowance and you have extra watchman allowance as if that person who’s engaged as watchman is going to engage another person, we have clothing allowance and so on and so forth,” he said.
Giving a breakdown of the allocation, he said “recruitment and enlistment into security GHC81.000.00; watchman allowance GHC36.000.00, clothing allowance GHC18.000.00 and entertainment allowance GHC16, 000.00. They are duplicating the expenses.”
However, Chairman for the committee on Water Resources, Works and housing Nana Kofi Amoako disagrees, arguing that the allocations have already been approved by Parliament.
According to him, the figures being quoted by the Minority were not the actual and accused the Minority of misconstruing the figures.
“When we talk about allocations, no Ministry’s allocation is going to be enough. This is something that has come through the budget. It does not mean we are going to spend GHC246 million. It could go beyond because it is dependent on the type of job they are going to be doing.”
The Ministry in June, expressed concerns over delays in receiving the GH¢200 million allocated to it to address the sanitation challenges in the country.
This was despite an announcement by the government that it has made the funds available to get the ministry to step up efforts in making Accra the cleanest city in Africa.
The then Sector Minister, Joseph Kofi Adda, said the money was yet to hit his ministry’s accounts to enable it to execute the various projects to improve sanitation in the country.
“The government has approved money for us, budget-wise, it has not yet hit our account. We have a financial system that you have to process from expenditure initiation, through to approval process and getting it to go through the GIFMIS system. The money has been released, but it has not yet reached our account besides we have to go through the procurement process to be able to get the contractors to execute the job. We are still going through the process.” he said earlier on Citi TV’s Point of View.