The Minority in Parliament has vowed not to approve the 2022 budget before the house until the Minister of National Security shows up before parliament to answer questions on President Akufo-Addo’s recent travels.
According to the minority, they believe that most of the expenditure allocated to the Office of the President has been used to cover foreign travels of the president.
“As a clear demonstration of our resolve, we wish to state that until the National Security Minister appears before Parliament to provide long- overdue answers to questions on the cost of hiring the luxurious jets for President Akufo-Addo’s recent travels, we in the Minority will not approve the budgetary allocation to the Office of the President,” Ranking Member for Finance, Ato Forson stated.
Speaking at the press conference in parliament after the 2022 budget review, the minority also revealed that they would be demanding expenditure returns from the month of January to September 2021.
“We wish to serve notice at this point that we will demand a full breakdown of all expenditure returns between January and September 2021.We also wish to serve notice, that we will demand prudence and modesty in the use of public resources especially at this time when the people of Ghana are going through such hardships and suffering,” Ato Forson added.
On the 17th of November 2021, the Minister of Finance of Ghana, Hon. Ken Ofori-Atta presented to the parliament the statement on the 2022 national budget.
Among the policies expected to be implemented is the Electronic levy (E-levy), which involves the introduction of taxes on electronic transactions such as mobile money (momo) transactions in the country.
Furthermore, an amount of GHS 3 billion has been allocated to the Office of Government Machinery.
It is based on this the minority have vowed not to approve the budget till they have answers to the total cost Akufo-Addo’s travels as they alleged these monies will be used to fund the president’s “luxurious foreign travels”.
Meanwhile, the National Security Minister, Kan Dapaah, on November 19, failed to show up before parliament to answer questions on Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s foreign travels.
According to a communique from parliament, the minister is currently out of jurisdiction for an official assignment.
This was revealed by the Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, who filed some questions to the minister, seeking to know how much it cost taxpayers during Akufo-Addo’s foreign trips with a private jet.
The debate around presidential travels has been championed by North Tongu Member of Parliament, who has alleged the recent travel of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to the NAM conference cost Ghana “US$588,000 which translates to a scary GHC3.5million”.
Eugene Arhin, Director of Communications at the Presidency, announced recently that the government had plans of acquiring a new presidential jet because the current one was not fit for purpose.
He said Defence Minister Dominic Nitiwul will give further details on the planned acquisition in due course.
The minister who was summoned before parliament justified the president’s decision to rent the aircraft, arguing that the capacity of the presidential aircraft can no longer carry the president’s entourage.
However, Kan Dapaah was expected to give answers to the president’s latest trips including the luxurious “Russian-oligarch-style,” he is using for the holiday.