Minority Chief, Mubarak Muntaka, has pooh-poohed government’s 2018 budget and policy statement presented in Parliament today [Wednesday], November 15.
Speaking to Citibusiness News Editor, Vivian Kai Lokko after the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta had presented the budget in the law making house, Mr. Muntaka, MP for Asawase, said government failed to provide actual figures to back its claims that it had improved the economy.
He believes the Finance Minister only presented “abstracts and slogans” in the name of turning the economy around.
“All they are talking about is slogans. It is all about slogans and they have couched a very nice slogan; putting government to work again as if we have been sleeping in Ghana. They should pinpoint in real numbers what they have done. They are speaking abstracts and they keep saying it is ongoing.”
1 million dollar for each constituency not realized
Listing some projects introduced by the governing NPP that in his view had not yet seen the light of day , Mr. Muntaka said though government promised 1 million dollars for each constituency, “not even one dollar had been disbursed yet.”
1 District, 1 Factory
He also wondered whether government had earmarked some lands for the 1 District, 1 Factory policy, saying the “one district, one factory that they said was on course, they should tell you and I which chief has earmarked one acre of land that they have started even negotiating.”
“Last year , when this budget was heard, you saw the spontaneous jubilation at Kumasi Magazine about spare parts, and a year down the line when the implementation started what is happening now? You heard them complain about how all they were told ended up being escalations,” Mr. ,Muntaka added.
NPP gov’t didn’t end dumsor
The Finance Minister had also stated in his presentation that NPP government brought the incessant power cuts to an end when it came to power.
Mr. Muntaka however dismissed these claims, saying “the most shocking and the most insincere comment of the Finance Minister was when he said they had ended dumsor.”
The Asawase legislator believes contrary to Mr. Ofori Atta’s claims, power outages came to an end under the NDC’s tenure.
“You and I were in this country. Long before they came, Dumsor had ended. If you remember by January, February of 2016, there was no dumsor. All the things that he said they had added, just check. All the 445 megawatts that he is talking about adding, just check, when it was done.”
We’ve delivered on our promises – NPP MP
In reaction to Muntaka’s claims, Member of Parliament for Takoradi, Kwabena Otchere Darko however insisted government had delivered on its promises.
“We have promises that we made in our manifesto and we delivered on them. Therefore I find it extremely difficult for the NDC to be complaining that we have not delivered on our promises. Why is the economy growing? The economy is growing at 3.7 and we are doing 7.4.”
Mr. Darko also explained that government had not yet implemented some programmes including the 1 District 1 Factory policy among others because it is undertaking some preparatory works with the private sector before launching these programmes to prevent a collapse.
“This is a government .. and they are doing these projects with the private sector participation and so far we have been able to identify a number of them who have started preparatory works before we set up the business because we do not want to set up anything that will collapse… We have seen the stories with GNTC, the Ambassador hotels and all that so we are very prudent and we want to make sure that prudence inures to the benefit of Ghanaians.”