General News of Friday, 21 July 2017
Deputy Minister of Finance Kwaku Agyeman Kwarteng came under bombardment by the minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) members on how much has so far been spent on Ghana’s 60th independence anniversary celebrations.
The deputy minister who was standing in on behalf of the substantive minister said the Ministry of Finance released an amount of GHC5.26 million which was budgeted money towards the celebration of the anniversary.
According to him, the money was made up of GH¢3.1 million from Government of Ghana sources and GH¢2.16 million from the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF).
He indicated to parliament that out of the amount released, GH¢3 million went to the Office of the Chief of Staff at the Ghana @ 60 Secretariat while GH¢100,000 and GH¢2.16 million were given to 10 regional capitals and the 216 metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies respectively.
“Actual disbursement, according to the Office of the Chief of Staff, indicate that an amount of GH¢2.98 million was spent by the Ghana @ 60 Secretariat out of the release from the GoG sources,” the deputy minister said. He stressed that GH¢2.16 million spent by the 216 districts and the GH¢100,000 spent by the regional coordinating councils brought the total expenditure to GH¢5.24 million out of the GH¢5.26 million.
After providing the substantive answer, the deputy minister came under a barrage of questions from the minority members – all of who were virtually trying to catch the speaker’s eye to ask follow-up questions.
Some of the minority members wanted to know how much had been contributed by corporate bodies, individuals and organizations.
Others wanted to know the detailed expenditure by the Secretariat and even contractors who were contracted to undertake certain functions or projects.
Others too wanted to know whether the money given by the DACF would be reimbursed to the Fund.
The MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, said that he did not understand why President Nana Akufo-Addo publicly said that the supposed GH¢20 million meant for the celebration of the 60th anniversary would only come from the corporate world but the ministry of finance also decides to budget some money towards the same celebration.
The deputy minister said the amount had already been budgeted in the 2017 Budget statement for that purpose