Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the Member of Parliament for North Tongu, stated that he and his people have a cautious optimism over the government’s distribution of the GH¢220m budget allocation that was promised in the 2024 budget statement.
He claims that the government has a history of withholding funding for initiatives that it has committed to.
Speaking on Metro TV, the MP, whose district is among the most severely affected, recognized the government’s awareness of the issue and its efforts to provide funding for projects through budgets, but he expressed caution because of their history of withholding funding for specific projects.
He voiced concerns on the government’s declaration that it would be requesting funding from the World Bank.
“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 said that the finance minister’s remark was insufficiently consoling.
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa continued by mentioning situations in which the government allotted funds for a project, but it has stayed on hold ever since.
“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.
This was disclosed by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta on Wednesday, November 15, 2023, when he gave the parliament the 2024 Budget Statement and Economic Policy.