November 17, 2011

The Minority Leader in Parliament, Hon Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has pooh-poohed the 2012 budget statement presented by the Finance Minister, Dr Kwabena Duffuor, saying the statement that is supposed to give hope to Ghanaians is ironically, the one to see the NDC out of government.

The 2012 financial statement delivered on Wednesday to Parliament was themed: “Infrastructural Development for Accelerated Growth and Job Creation.”

According Dr. Kwabena Duffuor, Ghanaians should expect to see massive infrastructure development, job creation and sustained economic growth next year. Government also intends to increase its revenue mobilization – for instance, mining companies will be paying more – with oil revenue remaining an important component of the country’s revenue targets.

Dr Duffuor also highlighted some achievements of the NDC government over the past year.

“Madam Speaker, we promised Ghanaians a better Ghana and we have significantly delivered on this promise; we promised to remove schools under trees and we are very much on course; we promised to remove inequities in incomes through the single spine and we are very much on course; we promised to move the economy from fragility to robustness, yes we have; we promised to significantly expand the economy and we have; we promised to arrest inflation, yes we have…”

As usual, this budget has been greeted with a partisan approach, while Dr Duffuor thinks the achievements he enumerated give the government confidence that in the coming years, Ghanaians can continue to trust the NDC government to faithfully steer the affairs of our dear nation, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu and his colleagues in the minority strongly think otherwise.

“Clearly, we have come a full cycle, and we’ve realised that anko yie (it didn’t go well); yenhu so (all is not well), ya’setenamu no ansesa (our lives were not bettered), and to me [it is] bye-bye budget,” Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu told Joy FM’s Bernard Saibu.

The Minority was the least moved by the enumerated achievements, and also, very much doubted what the budget holds for the nation.

By that conviction, he told Joy News: “To me it is full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

Although he admitted that the government in 2011 has “done a bit” like the construction of schools “that should translate into good results. What did we see?”

He was highly suspicious of claims by the government to stimulate and generate employment, because, according to him, the manufacturing industry which is expected to play that role “is collapsing”.

K.T Hammond, Member of Parliament for Adansi Asokwa, re-echoed the position of his Minority Leader, saying the statement did not sound like a budget to him, adding “I hope it is the last budget” for the ruling NDC party.