The Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta was in Parliament on Friday to amend table 21 of the 2020 budget to include the Volta Region in the critical Regional Road projects.
He told Parliament that the omission was inadvertent.
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He explained that the Volta Regional Minister, Dr Archibald Letsa and the Minister of Energy, Mr Peter Amewu, drew his attention to it soon after presenting the budget.
Mr Ofori-Atta then proceeded to mention all the omitted projects in table one and those earmarked in table two in the budget.
The Volta caucus of the Minority in Parliament on Thursday asked the government to apologise to the chiefs and the people of the Volta Region for the failure to include the region in the critical road projects.
It condemned the government for what it termed the deliberate omission of the region from the list of critical regional road projects programmed for construction in the 2020 budget.
It gave the ultimatum at a press briefing in Parliament House in Accra yesterday, addressed by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Adaklu, Mr Kwame Agbodza, to register its strong displeasure and outrage at the government for the omission.
The caucus called for the immediate inclusion of the region in the list for it to have its fare share of projects, failing which the Minority would announce its next line of action.
Mr Agbodza said the caucus refused to accept the lame and unconvincing excuse of a mistake and was convinced that the omission was a grand scheme to discriminate against Voltarians because of their voting pattern.
“We all heard the Finance Minister proclaim that 2020 is the year of roads and paragraph 252 of the budget lays emphasis on this proclamation. How can it be, therefore, that your flagship initiative for the 2020 fiscal year will leave out an entire region in what is arguably the most important table in the budget document?” he asked.
According to him, the suspicion of the caucus was further fortified by purported pronouncements by some government officials who had put out the most reckless and insensitive defence of the conduct of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government.
He said pages 160 and 161 of the 2020 Budget and Financial Policy of the government presented to Parliament on behalf of the President by the Finance Minister, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, catered for all administrative regions of the country except the Volta Region.
“It is also to be observed that apart from the Volta Region being conspicuously missing in the regional column, not a single road or bridge appears in the Roads/bridge column destined for the Volta Region,” he noted.
While noting that attempts by some government functionaries, including the Senior Minister, Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, to explain the omission as an obvious mistake were most untenable. He asked: “When was this obvious mistake detected and how come no corrections have been effected as we speak?”
The Adaklu MP said for a government that touted its credential as having the men, it was unfathomable that such mistakes would be allowed to occur at this point.
He reminded President Nana Akufo-Addo that he took an oath to defend the Constitution of Ghana, saying the Constitution forbode discrimination.
The caucus asked the government to take all necessary actions to undertake an even and balanced development of all regions in the country.