Minority Threatens to Boycott Approval of National Security Budget
The Minority is threatening to boycott the approval process for the allocation made in the 2018 budget for the country’s National Security set up.
This, they say, is due to government’s disregard for the provisions of the Public Financial Management Act, which requires the regular submission of intelligence reports on the security situation in the country to Parliament.
According to Minority Spokesperson on Interior and Defense, James Agalga, the government has no justification for flouting the law hence their intended action.
“Upon the elevation of the Secretariat of the National Security Council into a full fledged Ministry, I believe what was within the contemplation of his excellency the President was to ensure that the intelligence agencies of state are accountable to this house. The enabling Act for the existence of the Ministry for National Security, specifically requires it to report to this house on their activities to make it possible for this house to exercise its oversight responsibilities.
“Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, they have omitted to discharge this function, thereby making it impossible for us to assess their performance as stipulated under the Public Financial Act 2016. This is an unpardonable violation which makes it difficult to assess their budget estimates. In the absence of that report, I am submitting that we cannot consider the budget estimates of the Ministry for National Security.”
Withdraw budget – Minority
The threat comes days after the Minority admonished government to withdraw the budget because they claim the Finance Minister reviewed aspects of the last budget in July without a resolution of the house; an act they term unlawful and must lead to nullification of the 2018 budget.
The Minority Spokesperson for Finance, Ato Forson, who made the call in a submission on the floor of Parliament, said “The Minister responsible for Finance cannot revise the expenditures and revenue without parliamentary resolution.”
He also said the government’s budgetary allocation for the Nation Builders’ Corps was “nothing to write home about.”
He noted that the Minority’s calculations indicated that each of the 100,000 youth to be recruited under the program would receive a little over GH¢400, which is woefully inadequate.
“Mr. Speaker the said graduates will not take home more than GHC400, this is dangerous. Mr. Speaker that GHC600,000 they intend to fund the programme with is not coming from the government of Ghana. It is going to be taken from the district assembly common fund. You’re going to constrain the district assemblies just for the purpose of funding it. This, in my opinion, is an extension of the national service scheme,” he said.
The Majority however called the bluff of the Minority, daring it to go to court for redress if they are convinced that the 2018 Budget breaches the laws of the country.