‘Special Development Initiative budgetary allocation paltry’

The Special Development Initiative Ministry was unable to execute most of its planned projects for 2018 because of the “paltry” allocations made to it, Parliament’s Committee on Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises has observed.

The committee in the report approved and adopted by the House in Accra yesterday noted that out of a total of GH¢761,650,008 Government of Ghana (GOG) allocation to the Ministry in the 2019 budget, only GH¢311,039,490 was released.

Out of the amount only GH¢81,119,012, representing 10.6 per cent was used on actual expenditure.

Of the GH¢53,762,086 allocation from the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA), GH¢19,321,675 was released to the Ministry during the period under review.

“The paltry release of the approved budgetary allocation made it difficult for the Ministry to implement its planned programmes and activities for the year under review.

“As a result the Ministry could not achieve most of its targets due to the insignificant release of funds. Some of the projects initiated in 2018 therefore spilled over to 2019 and are currently at various stages of completion.

“Given the important role of the Ministry in implementing programmes aimed at improving livelihoods and reducing poverty,” the Committee urged the Finance Ministry to provide the needed resources to the Ministry for the effective execution of its mandate.

Presenting the report, titled ‘Budget Implementation/Performance’ in respect to the Ministry, Chairman of the Committee, Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi, said that apart from the unavailability of funds to mobilise  the initial capital of contractors, in some instances, the project had to be terminated for non-performance by the contractors.

The budgetary allocation, the report said was utilised on the establishment of the Head Offices of the Northern, Middle Belt and Development and Coastal Authorities Development Authorities, finalised organisational manual of the ministry and the development of a Client Service Charter.

Other projects undertaken with the money included the construction of 560 small dams under the One Village One Dam initiative, construction of 1,000 institutional water closet toilets and the construction of 50 fabricated warehouses.

Seconding the motion, Keta representative and Ranking Member on the Committee, Richard Quashigah said the allocation and actual releases exposed the government on its commitment to the One Million dollar per constituency promise.

According to Mr Quashigah despite creating a new ministry to oversee the rapid development of rural Ghana, the Ministry had been cash-starved and could not execute its projects.

Some minority members, meanwhile, said there were no projects in their various constituencies being funded by the Ministry.

Yapei Kusawgu and South Dayi members, John Jinapor and Nelson Este Dafeamekpor, for example, said they could not trace any project in their constituencies sponsored by the Ministry.

But the Minister, Mavis Hawa Coomson, insisted that every constituency had benefited from the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Project (IPEP) which tackles development from the bottom to top.

She urged the members to collaborate with the various assemblies to acquaint themselves with the development happening in their areas.

The government, she reiterated, was committed to the comprehensive development of the country.

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI

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