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It’s unlikely that Ofori-Atta to release about 40% of budget to sensitive areas – Prof Gatsi

Dean of the University of Cape Coast School of Business, Professor John Gatsi has said that he is unsure if the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta will release the 40% of the 2023 budget to sensitive areas of the economy.

Speaking on JoyNews’ AM Show, the Professor expressed his doubts given the shortfalls that characterized the 2022 budgetary allocations.

According to him, the country is likely to continue experiencing shortfalls given the Finance Minister’s way of managing affairs.

“We are likely to see more of that in 2023. I’m not sure we’re going to see about 40% release of funds for goods and services. I’m not also sure we’re going to get about 40% of release or allocations made in the budget release by the Finance Minister in the very sensitive areas,” he said.

The Dean said it would take some sort of force to compel the minister to release those funds because “for him, we present the budget in a particular way but the way to sustain the execution of the budget, is to ensure that some releases are not made to certain sectors of the economy.”

In his view, even any kind of force is unlikely to compel the minister because “you need to juxtapose that with the strength of the Finance Minister. I think the Finance Minister is on his own. If he decides to do something, that is what he’ll do. So I’m not sure that they will be able to push him so hard.”

He said that the Minister’s posturing as described has been his approach to “managing the budget over the years.”

There have been concerns about what may seem like a disproportionate allocation of government budget to sectors, with the education sector being the most affected.

SEND Ghana, a subsidiary of SEND West Africa in its 2022 report, revealed the shortfalls of budgetary allocation that has hit the education sector. Thousands of school going children and educators have had to suffer the consequences.

Thousands of cedis are said to be needed for the renovation and construction of some sector infrastructure to enhance effective teaching and learning.

The Finance Minister is looking forward to reviving the economy, having introduced a number of measures through the 2023 budget. Latest approach to that course has been a Staff-Level agreement reached with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The success of the deal is not set in stone as the government has to ensure the success of other internal measures.

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Abdullah Anaman
Abdullah Anaman
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