The government hopes to spend about GHC27.4 billion in the first quarter of 2021, Ken Ofori-Atta,the Minister for Finance, disclosed to Parliament on Wednesday 28 October 2020.
“We will require an amount of GHC27.4 billion to carry on the services of government until the expiration of three months from the beginning of the 2021 financial year. The total amount is to cover government operations, such as compensation of employees, ex gratia awards, interest and amortisation payments, transfers to statutory funds, critical programmes and goods and services, and capex allocations of [ministries, departments and agencies],” Ofori-Atta told Parliament.
Presenting the Expenditure in Advance of Appropriation for January to March 2021, Ofori-Atta asked Parliament to approve “by resolution, the withdrawal of the sum of GHC27,434,180,520 from the Consolidated Fund”.
He added: “This is for the purpose of meeting expenditure necessary to carry on the services of the government in respect of the period expiring three months from the beginning of the financial year or on the coming into operation of the Appropriation Act in respect of the 2021 financial year.”
Agenda 111 and TVET agenda
Ofori-Atta outlined some of the programmes the Budget request will support as “work on the [Agenda 111] district and regional hospitals, which commenced in 2020 to ensure health facilities are available in all deprived places”.
“Currently, 88 site plans have been submitted by the district assemblies and contractors and consultants are being procured. The rehabilitation of the Effia Nkwanta and Accra psychiatric hospitals and the construction of the two psychiatric hospitals in Kumasi and Tamale will be fast-tracked,” he said.
“Funds have also been provided to facilitate the reopening of schools in the early part of 2021, if we continue to keep the spread of new infections of the COVID-19 virus at its current low level.
“In furtherance of the government’s TVET agenda, next year will witness the start of the Jobs and Skills project to support apprenticeships and competency based training curriculum development in over 100 trade areas and entrepreneurship. Also, we will see the beginning of construction of our flagship state-of-the-art TVET centres (two per region), fully equipped with modern training facilities in 33 trades/professions across 11 economic sectors.”
4 More to do More
The Finance Minister offered his assurance that the Akufo-Addo government will continue to implement measures aimed at empowering Ghanaians, adding the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) needs “four more to do more”.
“We are confident that, because of God’s guidance and support, the president’s leadership and our performance, Ghanaians will return the NPP government to power for four more [years] for Nana to do even more and also to continue with our economic revitalisation and transformation programme.
“Specifically, we will continue to implement measures that will result in significant improvements in business regulations and their implementation, digitisation to improve quality and transparency of public service delivery, expanding access to finance for Ghanaian businesses, skills training and energy sector reform, when Ghanaians give us another mandate to ensure that Ghana goes beyond aid.”