The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has moved against what it considers wanton dissipation of public funds, even as Ghanaians, according to it, are unable to access basic needs.
The party’s concern was contained in a press statement authored by its Director of Communications, Nana Akomea, and issued yesterday.
Enumerating a litany of challenges confronting the country and instances of what in its estimation constituted wanton dissipation of public funds, the NPP called on Ghanaians ‘to stand up in the fight to stop the National Democratic Congress government in the gross and wanton dissipation of public funds, while the most basic needs of Ghanaians are not met’.
The non-transfer of national health funds until hospitals withdraw healthcare, the non-payment of teachers’ allowances and the threat to strike by a host of professionals such as doctors, pharmacists, lecturers and civil servants, the party observed, were major drawbacks on the part of government and which the party described as shocking.
The NPP did not spare government for being indebted to state enterprises such as TOR, ECG and GWCL, an anomaly which according to it had limited the enterprises’ ability to deliver essential services to Ghanaians.
The party pointed out that ‘in the light of these deprivations, the government in 2013 alone, overspent the national budget to the tune of GH¢8.7 billion.’
Interchanges on N1 Highway
Although the highway should have been provided with seven interchanges to save lives, the party observed, only two were constructed. ‘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), the statement noted, cost about $180 million, whilst the office of the President alone overspent GH¢650 million (about $340 million), an amount which could have built two more N1 highways.
Single Spine Burden
The NPP rubbished the NDC government’s claim that the Single Spine had become a significant burden, accounting for GH¢1.9 billion of the overspending and pointed out that ‘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?’
On the $3 billion Chinese loan which, according to it, government was quick to refer to as a major panacea for many of its development challenges, it observed, ‘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.’
‘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,’ the NPP lamented.
Government, the NPP pointed out, could only spend GH¢40 million in 2012 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”.
‘It is clear now that the current problems we are facing’, it stated, ‘are not due to the lack of money, but rather the lack of judicious use of available resources’.
It added, ‘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.’
The poor taxpayer, the NPP stated, was now being asked to pay for the recklessness through increased prices of fuel and utility tariffs.
By A.R. Gomda