Takoradi, Feb 23, GNA – Africa Center for Energy Policy (ACEP), a non-governmental organization with interest in energy issues, has stressed the need for the government to invest considerable amount of oil revenues into agriculture to boost the national economy.
Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam, Executive Director of ACEP, said the agriculture sector had not received adequate financial support compared to other sectors, adding that the government over the years had spent heavily on importation of agricultural products.
He said the Office of the President for instance, received GH¢ 65 million in the 2012 budget allocations compared to GHc53 million allocated to the agriculture sector.
Dr Amin, an economist, expressed these concerns when speaking at a stakeholders’ forum organized by ACEP and Friends of the Nation (FON) in Takoradi, to sensitize stakeholders on government spending strategies with oil revenues.
He said the 2013 budget allocated GH¢ 20,000,000 to the agriculture sector to enhance agriculture modernization but limited its expenditure to only GH¢ 13,604,321.
Dr. Adam said last year’s budget provided the agricultural sector with an amount of GH¢136 million but only GH¢8.9million was spent on agriculture and sought explanation from government on what the remaining amount was used for since no agriculture project was embarked upon.
He expressed regret that government did not have a coordinated development programme on agriculture modernization, adding that government had failed in its capacity to provide annual report of agricultural projects undertaken with petroleum revenues and expenditure incurred on them.
The economist urged government to prioritize education and agriculture sectors when allocation oil revenues since they played significant roles in accelerating national growth and reduce poverty.
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