General News of Thursday, 28 December 2017
Danquah Institute founder Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko says it is “unfortunate” that budgetary estimates are being misrepresented as actual expenditure in the ongoing controversy surrounding allocations to the Ministry for Special Development Initiative.
In a Facebook post, Gabby blames the ‘misfortune’ partly on “how slow and inarticulate the new Ministry has been in putting out the facts”, and thinks the government would do itself a lot of good to come clear with the facts because a lot of good planning went into preparing the budget.
He thinks the minister, Mavis Hawa Koomson, has a duty to defend every item in the budget for the ministry against the backdrop of suspicions of corruption intentions. “This may not be about corruption at all. It may be more about a new ministry struggling with information packaging”, says Gabby.
“A lot went into preparing the budget (and I mean a lot) and that lot involved a lot of ministries and other key and competent players – even if the final estimates were prepared by her Ministry and she certainly owes it to the nation to justify every item estimate in there. So let it not be assumed that this was all a scheme by Hawa and her staff to dupe the nation.”
A lot of comments have trailed the submission, with some agreeing with Gabby, while others are simply unconvinced.
Ato Aidoo points out; Then they have to repackage budgetary information. Ambiguity leaves a vacuum of suspicion, a perception of corruption conduit, and that’s not good for governance and image of the government. People are determined to bring this government down. And its imperative to manage well information flow. Failure is not an option.
But Citizen Kofi B Bentil submits that : There are about 4 different agencies and ministries all digging boreholes and building toilets!!! WHY MUST WE BE TRIPPING OVER OURSELVES ON A SIMPLE MATTER AS BUILDING PUBLIC TOILETS!!!!!
While Ransford Amon-Pabi writes: This is what I like about our kind of politics..when you are part of the government, you are very able to explain or give reasons for an action by your government…but when you are in opposition, those same explanations or reasons are not acceptable….wonderful indeed
Read Gabby’s Facebook post in full
Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko
24 December at 20:10 •
“I wish sooner than later the Govt will come out with the full facts on the budget for the Ministry for Special Development Initiative and the various Development Authorities. For it to be said, for e.g., that the GHS2m listed for Budget Preparation means 2m was spent on the sector’s budget that was just approved rather than on what would help the various Development Authorities disburse funds, such as the 1m per constituency, is most unfortunate and, perhaps, unimaginative. It appears the biggest culprit here is, indeed, how slow and inarticulate the new Ministry has been in putting out the facts. A lot went into preparing the budget (and I mean a lot) and that lot involved a lot of ministries and other key and competent players – even if the final estimates were prepared by her Ministry and she certainly owes it to the nation to justify every item estimate in there. So let it not be assumed that this was all a scheme by Hawa and her staff to dupe the nation. Even then, if there are issues with particular items let us go all out to Point it out and correct it and let the warranted action be taken against any wrongdoing found. Essentially, it is more and legitimately about a concerted, responsible, compassionate and intelligent effort by the Akufo-Addo Govt to see how the various socio-economic initiatives can have a real impact on communities across the country. Let us not allow a small misstep to undo a programme that is pregnant with real social change for communities up and down the country and it is just about to be born. This may not be about corruption at all. It may be more about a new ministry struggling with information packaging. The full facts will show one way or the other. But, more importantly, this is fundamentally about introducing programmes that will benefit every community equally across the country. It is about spreading opportunities and social amenities fairly to every constituency nationwide. By all means, let us be vigilant in making sure that it is done well and with integrity. But, let us not allow sensationalism to bastardize such an excellent initiative. It will not succeed! The programme will! “.