Govt Blows GH¢7.2bn In 4yrs

Government has overspent its approved budgetary allocations in the last four years to the tune of over GH¢7.2 billion, The Finder’s analysis of a statement issued by the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has revealed.

The economic team of the party led by Mr Yaw Osafo Maafo on Tuesday held a press conference on “Ghana’s Troubled Economy” and referred to, among others, details of over expenditure by government and its agencies.

According to the statement, government in 2009, overspent its approved budget by GH¢300 million; shooting up to GH¢800 million in 2010.

“The over-expenditure for 2011 was over GH¢1.3 billion. In spite of this trend, the over-expenditure alone for last year could amount to a mindblowing GH¢4.8 billion,” Mr Osafo Maafo said.

Giving details of over spending by the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), the NPP disclosed that the ministry of interior over-run its budget to the tune of GH¢19million while that of the Ministry of Health was GH¢27 million.

According to the statement, the ministries of Education and that of Environment, Science & Technology overshot their budgets by GH¢ 60million each while the Ministry of Energy spent GH¢70 million beyond its allocation.

The Ministry of Roads and Highways overstretched its budget by GH¢270 million while the Ministry of Youth and Sports spent GH¢350million.

Mr Osafo Maafo stated that the office of government machinery over-run its allocation by GH¢650 million while GH¢200 million was given to the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA); in addition to “GH¢15 million for guinea fowl business and GH¢33 million for tree planting, all in the name of SADA.”In spite of the over expenditure, the NPP further alleged that government was hugely indebted to many state owned enterprises (SOEs) to the tune of over GH¢3.1 billion.

“As at the end of December last year, government’s indebtedness to such petroleum sector entities as BOST, GNPC, TOR, NPA, GNGC, PC amounted to GH¢1.5 billion,” the statement said.

The utility-related agencies such as the Volta River Authority (VRA), Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), and the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCO) were owed in excess of GH¢1.6 billion, it maintained.

“This figure does not include the total of GH¢796 million illegal fuel price margins the court ordered government to refund to the consolidated fund,” Mr Maafo said.

“Government’s indebtedness to SOE’s which stands at GH¢3.1billion and arrears to goods and services providers which stands at GH¢5.4 billion bring all to a total of GH¢8.5 billion. Therefore, it is tragic but not surprising that the public utility companies and businesses are collapsing, bringing with it job losses and rising unemployment,” the NPP said.