Takoradi, Feb 24, GNA – Africa Center for Energy Policy (ACEP), a non-governmental organization with interest in energy issues, has stressed the need for government to invest a considerable amount of the oil revenue in the Agriculture sector, to boost the national economy.
Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam, Executive Director of ACEP, pointed out that the agriculture sector had not received adequate financial support, compared to other governmental sectors, adding that government over the years had spent heavily on the importation of agricultural products.
He indicated that the Office of the President, for instance, received GH¢ 65 million in the 2012 budget allocation, as compared to GH¢ 53 million allocated to the agriculture sector.
Dr Amin, an economist, expressed these concerns at a stakeholders’ forum organized by ACEP and Friends of the Nation (FON) in Takoradi, to sensitize stakeholders on government spending strategies with oil revenue.
He said the 2012 budget provided the agricultural sector with an amount of GH¢ 53 million, thus exceeding its expenditure to GH¢ 72,471,824.
He added that the 2013 budget allocated GH¢ 20,000,000 to the agricultural sector, to enhance agriculture modernization in the country, 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 revenue and expenditure incurred on them.
The economist urged government to prioritize the Education and Agriculture sectors, in the allocation oil revenues since they play significant roles in accelerating national growth and reduce poverty in the country.
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