The Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has said that he and his constituents are cautiously optimistic that the government will release the GH¢220m budget allocation promised in the 2024 budget statement.
According to him, the government has a track record of not releasing funds for projects it makes promises about.
Speaking on Metro TV, the MP, whose constituency is among the hardest hit, acknowledged the government’s awareness and attempts to allocate funds in budgets for projects, but said he remains wary due to the track record of them not releasing funds for some projects.
“As much as we’ve seen government awareness and the attempt to allocate, we are cautiously optimistic because of the track records and the history of this Akufo-Addo/Bawumia administration,” he said.
He expressed reservations about the government’s announcement of seeking funds from the World Bank.
He said that the comment from the finance minister is not comforting enough.
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa went on to cite instances when the government made budgetary allocation but the project has remained stalled till date.
“For the restoration phase, the minister announces that they have now put in a request at the World Bank and so they are waiting for what the World Bank will say, which is not very comforting. Because we are not too sure how the response will be from the world bank and what the quantum will be.
“I remain cautiously optimistic because there are times that beautiful projections have been made, nice allocations have been made. For example, the Keta Sea Defense project, there was an allocation in the budget and there was a promise to build the defence wall. As we speak, we are still waiting for that Keta Sea Defence to materialise.
“Then remember there is also the Pwalugu Dam project, which the president cut sods for. It was supposed to be a legacy project – his biggest intervention. If that dam was constructed, it would have helped to absorb a lot of the water upstream so that those of us downstream would have been saved. That project is yet to take off despite bold projections in the budget,” he explained.
The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, made this known when he presented the 2024 Budget Statement and Economic Policy to parliament on Wednesday, November 15, 2023.