General News of Sunday, 31 December 2017
Ex-Vice president Kwesi Amissah-Arthur says Ghanaians should blame Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta for the “bloated” budget of the Special Development Initiative Ministry.
He has accused the Finance Minister of shirking his responsibilities, arguing he failed to thoroughly vet the budgets submitted by the various ministries as required of him.
The inflated cost of some items in the budget of the Ministry that is under the Office of the President is an indication that Mr Ofori-Atta slept on the work, the former Governor of Ghana’s Central Bank registered grave disappointment.
The budget of the Special Development Initiative Ministry came under sharp focus the past weeks after it was revealed it had budgeted GHS800,000 for the creation of three websites.
The widely circulated document also showed GHS2million had been quoted as an expected cost for the Ministry’s budget preparation.
The government has said there was a mistake in the typing of the figures, claiming the original amount budgeted for the creation of the websites is GHS80,000 and not GHS800,000.
But Mr Amissah-Arthur has described government’s response as laughable, saying it could do better.
“The explanations I am getting, I don’t accept them because even if it was a mistake the total should have reflected that but that is not the case,” the one-term Vice-president told Joy News’ Central Regional Correspondent, Richard Kwadwo Nyarko.
He said there are “subject specialists” at the Finance Ministry who could have assisted with the elimination of the discrepancies in the budget, but he believes they also failed the nation.
Under his characteristic tone, he forcefully said: “If they did not do their work well, I will not excuse them.”