The Member of Parliament(MP) for Ahanta West Constituency in the Western Region, Hon Ebenezer Kojo Kum has said, the 2018 budget presented by the government seeking approval from the house to spend some GHC61 billion, remains the brighter chance of the nation steady economy.
According to him, the projected expenditure on the GHC61 billion would drive rapid economic recovery, saying, “the budget will consolidate on the achievements of previous 2017 budget to aggressively steer the economy to the path of steady growth.”
Hon Kum, a Vice Chairman for the Judicial Committee of parliament
made these comments during an exclusive interview THE REPUBLIC in parliament yesterday.
He told the paper that, “with the economic recovery made so far, it is clear that we made the right decisions and I will say that this budget is a very very unique budget.”
He averred that the 2018 budget has made sufficient provision for most the government flagship policies and to continue with the development of infrastructure and increase investments in agriculture to attain food security and reduce importation.
He mentioned the Free SHS, One District, One Factory; Planting for Food and Jobs, Infrastructure for Poverty Reduction, National School Feeding, Nursing and Teachers Training Allowances as some of the salient social intervention policies that the New Patriotic Party government would pursue to harness the economy.
With these, Mr Kumi said he found it difficult to comprehend with those who goes about only criticizing every policy, especially the free SHS which had brought some relief to parents and guardians including MPs without offering solution.
“I think I will disagreed with people who says we should wait for the next five years to implement policies like free SHS, “can you imaging how our society will be witnessing in the next five years without this free SHS?”
“For me, I am optimists’ and I will not go along with such people, people who talk without giving alternative solution, this is a social programme that I think every body has a beneficiary, it could be your nephew, your niece, your grandson or any person who is dependent largely on you,” he argued
In his his view most of these interventions by the government would definitely push the non-extractive sector growth upward significantly, stressing that the free SHS is a policy that he believed many Ghanaians would remember Nana Addo and his government.
“I am of the view that, those who have dreams should be supported with their dreams, if you don’t have a dream and other have lets support it, we must sing with one voice to ensure that free SHS and other social interventions succeed irrespective of the political interest,” he added.
The Ahanta West lawmaker maintained that, education remained the biggest weapon that every given nation could bequeath on its future generation and that Ghanaians must support Nana Akufo Addo government to succeed in all spheres of the economy, especially on the free SHS.
Generally, Mr Kum said, the NPP government has ‘solid’ programmes spelt out in the 2018 budget to speed social development in the country through the creation of thousands of jobs,”stating, the budget is game changer and what he though was for Ghanaians to rally behind the government.
He added that, what the 2018 budget sought to do is to focus on industrialization by embarking on comprehensive industrial and agriculture transformation effort through ensuring provision of incentives for the production and supply of quality raw materials for investors.
In terms of infrastructure, the MP said the 2018 budget would play significant improvement in the road sector to open up most of the deprived areas and cited his constituency as one of such where the road ministry assured of tackling some of the deplorable roads.
Out of the GH¢61 billion that the government is requesting for parliamentary approval, allocations to ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) would constitute about 50 percent, which would be disbursed into sectors such as social, real estate, infrastructure and good governance.
For instance, GH¢3.5 billion has been allocated to the real estate sector; GH¢1 billion earmarked for the government’s flagship Planting for Food and Jobs programme, while the one-district, one-factory policy also receiving GH¢430 million, with an announcement of a GH¢100 million stimulus package for distressed but viable industries.
With regard to the social sector, the government devoting about GH¢14 billion for the sector and other allocations under the sector include a little over GH¢1.2 billion to the free SHS programme, about GH¢468.5 million to the school feeding programme, with employee compensation hopefully given around GH¢10.3 billion.
On infrastructure, about GH¢700 million has been earmarked for the Marshal Plan, ostensibly to repair and rehabilitate ‘agriculture roads’, while poverty alleviation programmes are likely to sap about GH¢1.15 billion.
The Zongo Development Fund, whose bill was passed by Parliament recently, is also receiving over GH¢100 million as its budget allocation.
Out of these programmes and projects that, Mr Kum described the 2018 budget as one looking ahead to a future of possibilities anchored on a robust driven economy for Ghanaians.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/ Felix Engsalige Nyaaba