The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has called on all Ghanaians to stand up in the fight to stop the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government led by John Dramani Mahama and his Vice, Paa Kwasi Amissah-Arthur in the gross and wanton dissipation of public funds, while the most basic needs of Ghanaians are not met.
According to the NPP, the neglected basic needs of ordinary Ghanaian is shocking and this includes National Health Insurance Funds are not transferred until hospitals withdraw healthcare, basic allowances to teachers are not paid until they deny our children their education, other public sector staff including doctors, pharmacists, lecturers, civil servants all threatening to withdraw their services due to unpaid expectations, workers pensions, district assemblies common fund, GETFund, which are all meant to impact on welfare of Ghanaians, are all unpaid or in huge arrears.
Government is also indebted to state enterprises including TOR, ECG and GWCL, thus limiting their ability to deliver essential service to Ghanaians.
This was contained in a statement issued by the party yesterday and signed by its Communication Director, Nana Akomeah, immediate past Member of Parliament for Okaikwai South,
NPP noted that in the light of these deprivations, the government in 2013 alone, overspent the national budget to the tune of GH¢8.7 billion.
“The overspending, they lamented, includes GH¢60 million by the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology, GH¢200 million at the NYEP/GYEEDA, GH¢350 million by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, and GH¢650 million by the Office of Government Machinery/Office of the President, and many more.
Spending on so called capacity building alone jumped from GH¢750,000 in 2011 to GH¢112 million (¢7.55 billion to ¢1.1 trillion).
These unaccounted for overspending becomes even more mindboggling when considered against the alternatives that are asking for attention”.
The statement listed certain areas which according to them needed immediate attention but the government closed its eyes on them.
INTERCHANGES ON N1 HIGHWAY
There are supposed to be seven interchanges on the N1, which will go a long way to prevent the needless loss of Ghanaian lives due to accidents and knockdowns on that very important road. Each interchange costs $15 million. Only two were built. Government could not find the $75 million for the remaining five, yet GYEEDA alone overspent by $100 million in the last 3 months of 2012!
The N1 highway (probably the most spectacular road construction project in the last 10 years) cost about $180 million. The overspending at the Office of the President, alone, GH¢650 million (about $340 million), could have built two more N1 highways.
SECONDARY SCHOOLS AND TRAINING COLLEGES
In the 2013 budget, GH¢173 million is provided to build 50 community SHS (i.e. GH¢3.46 million each) and GH¢62 million provided to build 10 colleges of education (i.e. GH¢6.2 million each). The overspending at GYEEDA alone could have provided over 100 community SHS, or 56 teacher training colleges.
SINGLE SPINE BURDEN
The NDC government has claimed that the Single Spine has become a significant burden, accounting for GH¢1.9 billion of the overspending. But the government also proceeded to overspend GH¢650 million at the Office of government machinery, GH¢350 million at the Ministry of Youth and Sports, GH¢350 million at NADMO, GH¢700 million for Social Protection Programmes, all totalling over GH¢1.9 billion. So what is the noise about the Single Spine about?
The government is quick to refer to the $3 billion Chinese loan as a major panacea for many of its developmental challenges. But between 2009 and 2012, the public debt increased from GH¢9.5 billion to GH¢333.5 billion, an increase of GH¢6 billion every year. The GH¢6 billion addition per year amounts to $3 billion per year; same as the Chinese loan which is supposed to solve many of our developmental challenges!
Government would not pay GH¢50 million to the 180 mission hospitals, until the hospitals withdrew services to poor, innocent and sick Ghanaians, compared to overspend of GH¢350 million of NADMO alone.
In 2012, government could only spend GH¢40 million to pay capitation grant for the 5.4 million Ghanaian children in public basic schools. But the same government spent GH¢112 million in 2012 on so-called “capacity building”
Concluding, NPP revealed that it is clear now that the current problems facing the country now are not due to the lack of money, but rather the lack of judicious use of available resources.
“It is trite knowledge that most of this overspending in the last three months of 2012 went into the gargantuan, unbridled and lavish spending that attended the NDC 2012 campaign. After this wanton and reckless dissipation of taxpayers’ money by the NDC government, to fund their election campaign, the poor tax payer is now being asked to pay for the recklessness through increased prices of petrol, gas, taxes, and (very soon) utility tariffs. The meet is indeed down to the bone”.