General News of Friday, 16 November 2018
The Minister of Monitoring and Evaluation, Anthony Akoto Osei, has expressed frustration with the pace at which government’s flagship projects are being implemented.
He was however hopeful that a significant number of the pledges made by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) prior to being elected into office will be fulfilled before the end of government’s first term.
Speaking on Point Blank on Eyewitness News, Mr. Akoto Osei said he had expressed his concerns to his colleague Ministers about the rate at which funds were being released for projects by the implementing Ministries
“I’m not happy with the rate of implementation of projects, and I’ve told my colleagues. One of the first things I discovered was that we have borrowed about 6 billion from various sources but only 3 billion has been disbursed.
“So we’ve encouraged the Ministers to increase the disbursement rate. That is a lot of money to be sitting in our books and paying committment fees. So we are working on all of that.”
He added that while the government might not be able fulfill all of its promises by 2020, completing at least 60% of the pledges would be considered a huge success.
“If you ask me if we have fulfilled all our promises, I would say no, but we have a four-year mandate. We may not fulfill all of them, but we want to do enough for Ghanaians to see that we mean business.
So I’m not deterred at all. If we are able to do at least 60% of our promises, we’d have done very well.
His comments come in the wake of the presentation of the 2019 budget in Parliament on Thursday by Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta.
The Minister provided an update on the status of government’s projects including its flagship one district, one factory programme, which is expected to see factories established in each district in the country.
According to Mr Ofori-Atta, 79 factories will be at various stages of construction across nine regions by the end of the year.
“By the end of the year, a total of 79 factories, in 9 regions of the country, will be at various stages of construction or operation under the 1D1F scheme”
“Many of the supported factories are processing our agricultural produce into ready-to-consume forms that have previously largely been imported. In 2019, the scheme will continue to partner with private financial institutions to fund more factories expand the geographic reach of the programme. In particular, 1D1F will support feed mills and chicken processing facilities in the poultry industry”
However, critics, particularly the Minority in Parliament have stated that the government is struggling to meet a number of its deadlines, arguing that some of the projects are yet to take off at all.