Ayorkor Botchwey unhappy with Finance Ministry’s ceiling on IGF use

The Foreign Affairs Minister has expressed discontent with the Finance Ministry’s decision to limit its use of internally generated funds (IGF).

Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey told Parliament Thursday the ceiling might jeopardize the operations of the Ministry and hamper its ability to meet set targets.

She said this might plunge the “cash trapped” Ministry further. “That is going to make the work of the Ministry very difficult.”

Parliament has approved the budget of GHC398.7 million for the Foreign Affairs Ministry for 2017. This is GHC98 million more than the 2016 allocation which was GHC301 million.

The Ministry has projected to internally raise the revenue of GHC 150 million from its mission operations abroad. The areas it has targeted to raise the funds from include, visa issuance, authentication services, and issuance of passports for Ghanaians.

The arrangement is that missions that generate IGF are allowed to retain 35 percent and the remaining 65 percent is paid into a holding account for the upkeep of other less endowed missions.

Out of the projected IGF, the Finance Ministry has given the permission to the Foreign Affairs Ministry to spend only GHC51 million.

But Ayorkor Botchwey described the IGF cut as an “unfortunate” one that has to be re-looked at.

She said the Ministry’s payment of the $50 million facility which was approved in August 2016 is at risk.

She expressed satisfaction that Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs is with her on the issue.

“I am happy that the Committee and members are not happy about it and therefore will advocate on our behalf for it to be restored,” she said.

Ayorkor Botchwey assured legislators inspite of the cut the Ministry will do all it can to improve on its services especially on passport acquisition.