The Coalition for Democratic Accountability and Inclusive Governance, otherwise called the Citizens’ Coalition, has described as a “bold and long overdue step”, Parliament’s close scrutiny of the 2023 Budget of the Government of Ghana.
According to the Coalition, Parliament’s scrutiny of the budget “reflects a positive outcome of the current ‘Hung Parliament’ that should be celebrated,” and that “Given the economic challenges that faces the country, Parliament will have to intensify its oversight activities including reenergizing the Committee on Government Assurances and empowering Standing and Sector Committees to maintain strict vigilance over the implementation of the Appropriation Act by the Executive.”
The commendation by the Citizens’ Coalition follows a similar one by the Ghana Center for Democratic Development, which equally gave Parliament the thumbs up for doing a diligent job on the 2023 budget.
Citizens’ Coalition particularly welcomed “the decision of Parliament to reallocate the GH¢80 million allocated for the construction of the National Cathedral to the Roads and Highways and Communication Ministries and to slash the allocation to the Contingency Vote by half among other cost cutting measures in their approval of the 2023 Budget.”
“As part of the cost cutting measures, the Coalition notes Parliament also defunded the Special Development Initiatives and Monitoring and Evaluation secretariats at the Office of the President. This responds to some of the Coalition’s proposals on areas of expenditure that government can still cut down. We reiterate our call on government to look closely at the cost of running government and reduce it further. Additional cuts should include reducing the total number of ministers and deputies to 60 as a first step and absorb and merge a number of secretariats set up to oversee flagship programs and let civil servants manage them in the relevant ministries, and finally reshuffle the Ministerial Team including relieving the Finance Minister of his duties in order to refocus government on the challenging task of returning Ghana to the path of economic recovery.
“The Citizens’ Coalition will tirelessly continue to amplify the concerns of Ghanaians and demand that government acts in a manner which does not only take us out of this economic mess but give citizens, particularly the young men and women of this nation hope for the future,” said the group comprising Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and individuals that harnesses democratic processes of mass education and mobilization to establish a culture of accountable and transparent governance that actively and consciously responds to the demands of citizens and promotes human rights, peace, constitutionalism and the national interest.