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Infrastructure: Akufo-Addo accused of apathy

Thu, 12 Dec 2019 Source: Ghana Crusader

Members of Parliament have accused President Akufo-Addo of apathy towards infrastructure judging by the 2020 budgetary allocation for the Ministry of Works and Housing.

According to the House, the GH¢147.6 million allocation falls far short of the funds required by the Ministry to implement its planned programmes for the year 2020, which include managing the country’s coastal protection works, stormwater drainage projects, operational hydrology and affordable housing schemes.

The MPs stressed the Ministry would require a budgetary allocation of GH1.423 billion to expend next and the scanty budget would mean it would be handicapped in case of serious flooding.

The House lamented that there is no proper correlation between the planned programmes of the Ministry and the actual budget from the Ministry of Finance.

For instance, the Works and Housing Ministry is expected to spend GH523.9 million to control flooding across the country.

2019 witnessed serious flooding at the most unusual places including part of the Tema Motorway which was submerged for the first time during a heavy down.

However, the entire budget allocation to the Ministry is just about 30% of the amount that would be needed to control flooding; not to talk about the coastal protection, housing and the other programmes.

Chairman of the Committee on Works and Housing who seconded the motion and also presented of the annual budget estimates of the Ministry to the House stressed that this acute budget situation has culminated in a problem resolving approach instead of a holistic approach that could fully deal with the various challenges that confront the sector.

He said, “The Committee is of the view that the planned programmes of the Ministry are very critical to the development agenda of the country, especially in the pursuit and attainment of Goal 11 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

“The Ministry’s Human Settlement Programmed detailed to roll out a number of housing projects aimed at reducing the housing deficit of the country would seriously be undermined with this meagre allocation,” he added.

MP for Domiabra Obom who contributed to the debate argued that erstwhile Mahama administration demonstrated more commitment to solving the infrastructure challenges of the country than being experienced currently under President Akufo-Addo.

She wondered how the government expects the Ministry to discharge its commitment by reducing the allocation for 2020 compared to 2019, which failed to provide the needed infrastructure across the country.

Subsequently, the House approved the budget of GH¢147.6 million to enable the Ministry of Works and Housing implement its programmes and activities next year.

Source: Ghana Crusader

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