Monday, June 27, 2022

2020 Budget Volta region sidelined- NDC MPs angry at Gov’t

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Members of Parliament from Volta region are demanding the restoration of Volta region in the 2020 Budget and Financial Statement of The Central Government for peace.

The MPs at the news conference have questioned the motive behind cabinet decision to exclude the Region in what the budget referred to us critical Region roads and projects programmed for contribution in 2020 captured at table 21 of paragraph 160 and 161.

In those paragraphs specific roads are identified from only 15 Regions  but the Senior Minister, Yaw Safo Marfo in an radio interview described the development as a mistake.

However, speaking at a media encounter in Parliament, the Volta Caucus led by its Chairman and MP for Ho West Emmanuel Kwasi Bedzrah said:, the Constitution of Ghana forbids discrimination and insists that the Government take all necessary action to undertake an even and balanced development of all regions.

He reminded the President that:, “He took an oath to defend the Constitution of Ghana”.

The Minority Spokesperson on roads and MP for Adaklu, Kwami Agbodza who read the statement on behalf of his colleagues, condemned the omission saying: “This unconstitutional conduct of the Government and demand that within 48 hours, the Chiefs and People of the Volta Region should be apologised to and that the region should be immediately considered for its fair share of projects under Governments Critical Road Projects failing which the Minority will announce its next step of actions”.

According to him “The Volta Caucus refuse to accept the lame and unconvincing excuse of a mistake.

We are convinced that this was a grand scheme to discriminate against the Volta region by denying constituents their fair share of the national cake just because of our voting pattern”.

He alleged that their suspicion is further fortified by the pronouncements of other Government officials who have put out “the most reckless and insensitive defence of this unconstitutional conduct by their Government”.

Mr. Agbodza accused the Government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for the deliberate omission of the Volta Region from the list of ’Critical regional road

projects programmed for construction in 2020′ as contained at pages 160 and 161 of the Budget and Financial Policy of the Government of Ghana for the year ending 31st December, 2020 presented to Parliament on behalf of the President by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta.

“Further scrutiny of table 21 which is the table in issue reveals that all administrative ions of Ghana except the Volta Region was adequately catered for.

It is also to be observed that apart from Volta being conspicuously missing in the

Regional Column, not a single road or bridge appears in the Roads/Bridge Coiumn destined for the Volta Region”.

We all heard the Finance Minister proclaim that 2020 is ‘The Year of Roads.’ Paragraph 252 of the Budget lays emphasis on this proclamation. How can it be therefore that your flagship initiative for the 2020 fiscal year will leave out an entire region in what is arguably the most important table in the budget document, he questions?

Story filed by Edzorna Francis Mensah

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