President John Mahama’s office in the 2012 financial year spent in excess of GHS 1600 million above its approved budget, without parliamentary approval, the Minority in parliament revealed last Thursday.
This was contained in the “True State of the Nation” address delivered by Minority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu and reinforced by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Obuasi, Kweku Kwarteng, on Joy FM’s current affairs programme, Newsfile, Saturday.
According to the minority’s statement, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government also spent over GHS 700 million in excess of its budget, also without parliamentary approval on Social Protection Programs whilst the Youth and Sports Ministry also spent GHS 300 million above its budget.
The minority also stated that the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) spent over GHS 300 million in the last quarter of 2012 only.
The New Statesman newspaper has already revealed that the Mahama administration in November and December of 2012 spent GHS million – monies which were reportedly used to fund the president’s campaigns during the December 2012 elections.
“As a result of the huge fiscal deficit and arrears the international credit rating agency, Fitch, has downgraded Ghana’s credit rating from B+ stable to B+ negative,” Kyei Mensa-Bonsu noted.
Reinforcing the Minority’s position, the New Patriotic Party MP for Obuasi, Mr. Kweku Kwarteng, said whilst the citizenry was suffering, government and other state institutions were blowing the country’s money through unnecessary overspending.
What was worse, according to Mr. Kweku Kwarteng, was the fact that the country was operating a huge budget deficit of GHS 08.7 billion up from GHS 06.6 billion in 2008 but with nothing to show for the expenditure.
“What does this mean? It means in 2012 alone, government spent GHS 8.7 billion in excess of the income the nation generated.
“Government spending increased astronomically to 34.5% of GDP even though government revenues amounted to 16.1% of GDP (a gap of over 100%) for the year.
“Why this recklessness from an administration that claimed it would fight profligate expenditure?” Mr Kwarteng asked.
He added that after government increased Ghana’s debt from $8 billion in 2009 to $17 billion in 2012, after enjoying oil proceeds, windfalls in cocoa and gold prices the only evidence the NDC has to show for these huge inflows were power cuts, water crisis, gas shortages and unemployment.
The Obuasi MP said his constituents have for over ten months not had water flowing through their taps with no explanation from authorities.
He said the whole country has been plunged into darkness with government sources and spokespersons providing contradictory dates as to when the power cuts will end.
Mr. Kweku Kwarteng also accused the government of completely running down the Tema Oil Refinery with the view to privatizing it, while failing to account for the TOR recovery levy which was imposed by the NPP to offset the TOR debt incurred as a result of subsidy on fuel prices.