General News of Sunday, 24 December 2017
President of policy think tank, IMANI Ghana, Franklin Cudjoe has said about GHc300 million of taxpayers’ money would have been saved if President Akufo-Addo had not created the Ministry of Special Development Initiatives.
“The Ministry for Special Development Initiatives should not have existed in the first place. We could have saved GhC300 million of that budget if we had allowed the other ministries to do the things in the budget,” he argued.
The Ministry requested for about GHc1 billion to undertake a number of projects including warehouses, boreholes, procurement of ambulances and vehicles, among other things. The revelation of a GHc800, 000 budget request for the creation of a website has caused public uproar, with the Minority calling on the sector Minister to resign.
Although government has since attempted to clarify that the GHc800,000 for website was a typographical error, many believe it was an attempt to fleece the national coffers.
Speaking on Citi FM’s news analysis programme, The Big Issue on Saturday, Franklin Cudjoe said most of the projects the embattled ministry is requesting funds for are the work of other ministries and hence, it should not have been created in the first place.
“If you look at the expenditure of this ministry, it seems to be the amalgamation of other ministries,” said.
The December 22 edition of The Big Issue saw members of the panel review President Akufo-Addo’s first year in office.
The first year of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration has been rocked by a number of corruption allegations including the BOST contaminated fuel scandal, allegations of corruption by A-Plus against the two deputy chiefs of staff, allegations of conflict of interest against the Finance Minister over the issuance of a Bond, and recently the allocation of GHc800,000 for the creation of a website for the Special Development Ministry.
Franklin Cudjoe used the opportunity to advice President Akufo-Addo to be wary of the corruption allegations that have rocked his administration saying they are likely to sink him.
“There is a perception of people that may eventually sink the administration if they don’t take care. That has been the trajectory in the past. One year of Akufo-Addo’s administration, the macroeconomic indicators look good…but I think if they don’t take care, these allegations of corruption, most of which are emanating from their own camp will be the ones that will sink them,” he added.
Embattled Special Dev’t Ministry engages Zoomlion to distribute recycling machines
In another development, it has emerged that the Ministry of Special Development Initiatives has entered into a contract with the Zoomlion Ghana Limited to distribute plastic recycling machines to some districts in the country.
A letter signed by the sector minister, Mavis Hawa Koomson and sighted by citifmonline.com indicated that District Chief Executives (DCEs) in areas selected to benefit from the program was to allocate land areas for the project.
“The Ministry of Special Development Initiatives, in order to realize the Government’s vision to transform rural and urban communities, identified sanitation as one of its priority areas.
This aims at instituting proper sanitation and waste management system, which will improve health and the general living standards of the people,” it said.