General News of Thursday, 21 December 2017
The Ministry of Special Development Initiative budgeted ¢800,000 for the development of a website, a figure criticised as bloated.
“This is nothing but corruption”, Minority spokesperson on Finance Ato Forson told Joy News.
Parliament approved the expenditure item despite red flags from the Minority National Democratic Congress (NDC).
A further 10 million was approved to purchase 20 4-Wheel Drive vehicles for the Minister and other officials.
“As a Minister, I do not even have an official vehicle,” Mavis Hawa Koomson explained.
According to the budget estimates, it will cost more to build a website than buy one 4-Wheel Drive vehicle.
The Ministry will also controversially spend ¢6.5 million on furniture. The Minister has been justifying the expenditure.
Parliament altogether approved a ¢1.1 billion budget for the Ministry which is expected to champion government’s special projects.
Out of the Ministry’s ¢1.1 billion cedis budget, ¢744 million cedis will be funded with oil money from the annual budgetary funding amount.
The Ministry for Special Development Initiatives is charged with implementing a set of New Patriotic Party (NPP) manifesto promises that was the highlight of the 2016 electioneering campaign.
These include the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Program (IPEP), through which all 275 constituencies are to get one million dollars every year.
There is also the popular industrialisation plan christened ‘one district, one factory’ and the government’s irrigation plan, the ‘one village, one dam’.
Other items in the budget include: