The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Members of Parliament appear to be confused on what they actually want in the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government for the year ending 31st December 2022, as presented by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta on November 17.
They have filed a motion asking that the decision by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to pass the budget on November 30, should be rescinded.
However, the same NDC MPs who want the budget rejected have their members on the various committees considering the 2022 budget estimates for the various ministries, departments and agencies.
Since the brouhaha over the passage of the budget, a number of sector ministers as well as heads of state agencies have been appearing before the various committees to justify the budget estimates for their respective ministries and agencies, an indication that the 2022 budget is already being put to use.
For instance, the Finance Committee met on Wednesday, December 8, 2021 at 9:00am with officials of the Office of the President and considered the 2022 budget estimates of the institutions and agencies under the Office of Government Machinery.
They included Office of the President, Millennium Development Authority (MiDA), Public Sector Reform Secretariat (PSRS), Office of the Chief of State Protocol, Ghana AIDS Commission, National Identification Authority (NIA) and Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC).
Kwaku Agyeman Kwarteng (NPP Obuasi West), Chairman of the Finance Committee, presided and had Dr. Cassiel Ato Baah Forson – Ranking (NDC Ajumako Enyan Assiam), Patrick Yaw Boamah (NPP Okaikoi Central), Kobina Tahir Hammond (NPP Adanse Asokwa), Dr. Nana Ayew Afriye (NPP Effiduase), Sheila Bartels (NPP Ablekuma North), Dr. Stephen Amoah (NPP Nhyiaeso), Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi (NPP Asante Akim Central), Collins Adomako-Mensah (NPP Afigya Kwabre North), Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam (NPP Karaga), Isaac Adongo (NDC Bolgatanga Central) and Alex Adomako-Mensah (NDC Sekyere Afram Plains).
The Special Budget Committee also met and considered the 2022 budget estimates of institutions like the Public Services Commission, Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), and Ghana Audit Service.
It was presided over by the Vice-Chairman, Haruna Iddrisu (Minority Leader, NDC Tamale South) and was attended by Andrew Kofi Egyapa Mercer (NPP Sekondi), Eugene Boakye Antwi (NPP Subin), Samuel Erickson Abakah (NPP Shama), Alex Blankson (NPP Akrofuom), Kennedy Nyarko Osei (NPP Akim Swedru), Kwaku Ampratwum Sarpong (NPP Mampong), Musah Addul-Aziz Ayaba (NPP Mion), Joseph Bukari Nikpe (NDC Saboba), Angela Oforiwa Alorwu-Tay (NDC Afadjato South), Christian Corletey Otuteye (NDC Sege), Ahmed Ibrahim (NDC Banda), Alhassan Kobina Ghansah (NDC Asikuma Odoben Brakwa) and Kwadwo Nyanpon Aboagye (NDC Biakoye).
The Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs met on Thursday, December 9, 2021 at 11:04am and considered the 2022 annual budget estimates of the Office of the Attorney-General & Ministry of Justice.
Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi presided and was attended by Dr. John Ampontuah Kumah (NPP Ejisu), Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah (NPP Ofoase Ayirebi), Yelviel Baligi Bakye (NPP Lambussie), Ursula Gifty Owusu-Ekuful (NPP Ablekuma West), William Owuraku Aidoo (NPP Afigya Kwabre South), Andrew Kofi Egyapa Mercer, Bernard Ahiafor (NDC Akatsi South), Francis-Xavier Kojo Sosu (NDC Madina), Rockson-Nelson Etse Kwami Dafeamekpor (NDC South Dayi), Mahama Ayariga (NDC Bawku Central), Cletus Apul Avoka (NDC Zebilla), Joseph Kwasi Mensah (NDC Nkoranza North) and Bismark Tetteh Nyarko (NDC Upper Manya Krobo).
The committee has also considered and submitted its report on the budget estimates for National Commission on Civic Education, Parliament and the Parliamentary Service.
Committee on Roads and Transport also met last week to consider annual budget estimates of the Ministry of Railways Development.
Kennedy Osei Nyarko presided with Alex Tetteh Djornobuah (NPP Sefwi Akontombra), Kofi Ahenkorah Marfo (NPP Achiase), Joseph Osei-Owusu (NPP Bekwai), Dr. Emmanuel Marfo (NPP Oforikrom), Michael Okyere Baafi (NPP New Juaben South), Abudu Lariba Zuweira (NPP Walewale), Alexander Agyare (NPP Kade), Kwame Governs Agbodza (NDC Adaklu), Isaac Adjei Mensah (NDC Wassa East), Kwadwo Nyanpon Aboagye (NDC Biakoye), Laadi Ayii Ayamba (NDC Pusiga), Samuel Atta-Mills (NDC Komenda Edina Eguafo Abirem), Bede Anwataazumo Ziedeng (NDC Lawra) and John Kwabena Bless Oti (NDC Nkwanta North) in attendance.
The Committee on Health also met on Thursday, December 9, 2021 at 10:00am and considered the 2022 annual budget estimates of the Ministry of Health.
Dr. Nana Ayew Afriyie presided with Dr. Patrick Boakye Yiadom (NPP Obuasi East), Emmanuel Akwasi Gyamfi (NPP Odotobri), Alexander Akwasi Acquah (NPP Oda), Akwasi Konadu (NPP Manhyia North), Collins Adomako Mensah, Johnson Kwaku Adu (NPP Ahafo Ano South West), Lydia Seyram Alhassan (NPP Ayawaso West Wuogon), Oscar Liwaal (NPP Yunyoo), Naana Eyiah (NPP Gomoa Central), Kwabena Mintah Akandoh (NDC Juaboso), Dr. Mark Kurt Nawaane (NDC Nabdam), Alexander Roosevelt Hottordze (NDC Central Tongu), Dr. Sebastian N. Sandaare (NDC Daffiama/Bussie/Issa), Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka (NDC Asawase), Charles Agbeve (NDC Agortime Ziope), Eric Afful (NDC Amenfi West), Mohammed Adamu Ramandan (NDC Adentan), Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare (NDC Techiman North) and Betty Nana Efua Krosbi Mensah (NDC Afram Plains North) in attendance.
Just this week, a number of committees including the one responsible for Food and Agriculture have been sitting to consider their respective budget proposals as contained in the budget.
There was also the appearance of the Electoral Commission as well as the Ministry of Communications and Digitisation before some of the committees, whose reports are not ready.
Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, sounded a cautionary note to the Minority NDC MPs over their public stunt on the budget.
He said on radio that “they understand the processes and the standing orders of the House but because of their parochial interest and their penchant for notoriety they don’t want the House to have a decent discussion on the 2022 budget.”