July 14, 2022

Scrap Ex-gratia, Halt Cathedral Construction; Ablakwa Suggests Expenditure Cuts For IMF Bailout

Member of Parliament for North Tongu constituency, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has outlined ten avenues the government can tackle to reduce its expenditure to create room for an IMF arrangement.

Among the suggestions included a review of Ghana’s end of service benefits and the total removal of ex-gratia payment to political and non-political appointees.

He also suggested a suspension of the public funding of the National Cathedral, ban of presidential chartered jet travels, reduction of government appointees and the suspension of some of the government’s projects, suspension of the construction of constituency offices by Parliament and others.

Below is the full statement from the legislator:

My selection of urgent expenditure cuts and concrete actions required in the face of an IMF bailout and crippling labour agitations:
1) Suspend the unconstitutional public funding of the US$400million National Cathedral project which government has so far diverted over GHS200million without parliamentary approval;
2) Renegotiate with owners of demolished properties at the National Cathedral location for a deferred compensation and save an estimated US$100million;
3) Ban all oligarchic presidential chartered jet travels which have cost suffering taxpayers in excess of GHS34million over the last 13 months;
4) Announce an immediate review of Ghana’s end of service benefits regime and scrap all ex-gratia payments for political and non-political beneficiaries;
5) Drastically reduce the number of Ministers, abolish Deputy CEO positions, dismiss the CEO for the ridiculous non-existent Keta Port and slash the outrageous 337 political appointees at the Office of the President by more than half;
6) Cancel vanity projects such as the proposed new €116million new Accra International Conference Centre project, 5 STEM universities, Boankra Green Technology City, Marine Drive Project, Stadia for Abuakwa and Sunyani, Agenda 111, new embassies in Trinidad and Tobago and Mexico;
7) Reallocate funds from government’s lavish GHS993million contingency vote (up by 431.5% from 186million in 2021) to other critical sectors such as meeting COLA demands of suffering Ghanaian workers;
8)Parliament should also shelve plans to construct new constituency offices for MPs;
9) Stop all ongoing opaque and crony procurement processes, particularly in the Communications and Digitalisation space where a Nigerian-led cabal have literally hijacked virtually every government contract (Further exposition on this to follow shortly);
10) The Executive, Legislature and Civil Society Organisations should jointly commission a special “Operation Retrieve and Recover” to take back billions of taxpayer funds in the wrong hands as revealed in various Auditor-General Reports over the last 10 years.

Source: opemsuo.com/Hajara Fuseini

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