Press Release: Dr. Nduom's Expectation of the Budget

Wed, 16 Nov 2011 Source: --


The 2012 budget to be presented to the People of Ghana, through the Parliament should be of importance to every Ghanaian since our common society is shaped, directed and managed by the budget of Government. We believe that 16th November presents yet another opportunity for the NDC Government led by President John E. A. Mills to prove to Ghanaians what it can do to improve the lot of our people.

During times like this, it is important for us to go back to look at the previous budget/s and make an honest assessment to see if key objectives of previous budgets have been attained by the government. It is only upon a proper assessment of previous budgets that one can have a good basis to either have faith in the new one which is going to be presented or not.

Last year the budget that was presented to Parliament had the theme, “Stimulating Growth for development and Job Creation”. The 2011 budget promised the people of Ghana that government was going to ensure growth in all sectors of the economy. Business men and women, service providers, farmers and all others stake holders in the economy were thus given assurance of government’s commitment to growth.

Admittedly, Ghana has been marked as the fasted growing economy in the year that is soon to end. Various international bodies have praised us for that. But the truth of the matter is that the people of Ghana have still not experienced the growth in real terms in their own pockets, in terms of jobs and in their quality of life.

Graduate unemployment is still high making people feel unsecured in the country. Government has continued to neglect local industries and entrepreneurs in the award of contracts for major state projects.

In our effort to ensure that the people of Ghana are given the best, we find it very necessary to make clear our expectations to the budget statement here even before it is presented:

1. The 2012 budget will have to demonstrate how government will support acceleration in the local economy. It is our expectation that the Finance Minister together with all state stakeholders will demonstrate the proper use of the state’s purchasing power for the benefit of the average Ghanaian. It is our expectation that the state will support local farmers, industries in the rural areas, and Ghanaian entrepreneurs with tax incentives in order to boost the ability of such local industries to perform well and stay in the competition for consumers.

2. Secondly, it will be very prudent of the part of government to start investing in the productive sectors of the economy now. For so long a time, the Government of Ghana has been engaged in borrowing to invest in ventures that do not provide returns and productivity to the state. This is leaving the state with huge debts which is not good for the economic health of the nation.

3. The 2012 budget must make provisions to reverse the abandonment of some major projects which was started by previous governments. Such projects include the affordable housing projects and other major road networks in the country.

4. The government should demonstrate through the budget how it will specifically redeem the promises made to the people of the Western Region. We do not want to use the Nigerian Delta state situation happen in Ghana.

5. It’s been almost two years when sod was cut for commencement of the STX Korea affordable housing project, yet little has been seen of it. Government will do us a good if much more is put in this budget to get the work started.

6. There has been much said about the Three Billion Dollar Chinese loan. The argument should not be on whether or not the loan should be taken. It is the use of such funds that matters to us. Government should tell us clearly where and how these funds are going to be used or allocated. Resources must be pushed into the productive sectors of the economy to improve business and industrialisation in the Country.

7. The idea that informed the initiation of the National Identification system. It is one important foundation building project that should not be neglected at all by anyone. With its full implementation, there is going to be tremendous discipline in the Ghanaian society. We therefore expect the 2012 budget to tell us how government is going to ensure that full attention is given to the project to ensure its successful completion.

8. Government has had it very tough managing the single spine salary Structure and this has been evident in the industrial strike by medical doctors that claimed many lives in Ghana just a few weeks ago. We want to urge the government to give detailed attention to SSSS since it has the potential of motivating workers to do their best.

9. Finally, the New Three Tier pension scheme is a good thing that has come to help the Ghanaian work force and as a result ensure the existence of long term capital for local businesses. It is very important that the 2012 budget provides funds for the participation of government workers in the new scheme while it gives sufficient resources to the Pension Regulatory Authority to be effective in its supervisory duties.

10. As 2012 is an election year, it is important that the Electoral Commission is given all the resources it needs with early disbursement to ensure uninterrupted work that will lend credibility to the parliamentary and presidential elections.

Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom

November 15, 2011

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