General News of Friday, 22 December 2017
Minister of Special Development Initiatives, Mavis Hawa Koomson, has told a horde of journalists in parliament that she is “ready to resign” over a budget scandal involving her ministry if that would please her critics.
Ms Koomson has come under intense pressure from the Minority after it emerged that her ministry had allocated GHS800,000 for the creation of a website in her ministry’s 2018 budget which was replete with what critics have described as outrageous allocations.
Former Deputy Minister of Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson, on Friday, said the explanation by Ms Koomson that her ministry meant to allocate GHS80,000 for the website rather than the GHS800,000 captured on paper, which she described as an error, smacks of incompetence.
Ms Koomson had explained that the GHS800,000 figure was a typographical error.
However, the Member of Parliament for Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam Mr Forson told journalists in Accra on Friday, 22 December in parliament that Ms Koomson is trying to do damage control.
“What the government is trying to do is an emergency landing – when you take a flight and you are struggling in the air, you want to land and that is what the government is doing.
“They are struggling, this is just damage control. I can give you documents we were given at the committee and it’s clear that it is GHS800,000 certainly not 80,000,” Mr Forson said.
“Is the minister telling me that she is such an incompetent lady to the extent that she couldn’t read and understand what is in her own document she brought to parliament for us to look at? This is gross incompetence, I don’t think she deserves to occupy the high office of a minister, so she should go.”
There is public outcry against the over GHS1bn budget.
In it, 275 ambulances will be procured at a unit cost of GHS354,750 totalling GHS97,556,250.
Fifty warehouses would be constructed at a unit cost of GHS1,652,469 totalling GHS82,623,480.
Also, 1000 solar-powered mechanical boreholes would be constructed at a unit cost of GHS132,000 totalling GHS132,000,000.
Additionally, 1000 “water closet institutional toilets with mechanised boreholes and solar panels” would be constructed at a unit cost of GHS187,000 totalling GHS187,000,000.
Fifty micro-enterprises would also be constructed at a unit cost of GHS550,000 totalling GHS 27,500,000.
Below are the rest of the items in the budget approved for the ministry led by Mavis Hawa Koomson:
275 projects at a unit cost of GHS1,100,000 totalling GHS302,500,000
Construction of 100 markets at a unit cost of GHS1,100,000 totalling GHS110,000,000
Internal Management or Organisations totalling GHS8,600,000
Hiring of office accommodation for Middle Belt and Coastal Belt Development Authority and Regional Offices totalling GHS15,000,000
Legal and Administrative Framework Review – GHS1000,000
Maintenance, Rehabilitation and Refurbishment – GHS3000,000
Procurement of Office Furniture and Fixtures – GHS6,500,000
Local and International Affiliation – GHS2,500,000
Procurement of Office Supplies and Consumables – GHS3,000,000
Tendering Activities – GHS759,970
Treasury and Accounting Activities – GHS500,000
Procurement of Computers and Accessories – GHS1,500,000
Manpower Skill Development – GHS3,500,000
Foreign Training – GHS2,000,000
Planning and Policy Formulation – GHS3,500,000
Policies and Programme Review Activities – GHS1,500,000
Publication and Dissemination of Policies and Programmes – GHS500,000
Development and Management of Database – GHS400,000
Research and Development – GHS1,000,000
Development of Website – GHS800,000
Budget Preparation – GHS2,000,000
Budget Performance Reporting – GHS500,000
Management and Monitoring of Policies and Projects – GHS3,000,000