After the normal heated conversation that usually attends critical issues on the floor of any Parliament, Ghana voted ‘Yes’ to a post-COVID-19 masterpiece budget that has everything that will not only light up Ghana’s infrastructure architecture, but also help improve the lives and livelihoods of citizens across the country.
Before the matter was put to vote, the Minority, poised to inflict a political pain on the NPP government, had used what they felt could be two aces to throw away the budget.
To the opposition NDC, the first was that it would use the country’s current debt stock to ‘poison’ the implementation of projects and programmes under the 2021 Budget.
The next was to claim that the ambitious projects outlined in the Budget cannot be implemented because the figures allocated were unrealistic.
It was clear that the NDC had hatched a plot to reject the Budget. According to the Member of Parliament for Yapei-Kusawgu, John Jinapor, the inability of the NDC to achieve that outcome was due to the ill health of some of its members.
That the NDC MPs still anticipate a fight is evident in his statement that, ahead of the approved budget’s appropriation sittings at the Finance Committee level, the Minority would ensure more scrutiny that will serve the interest of both Ghana and the NDC.
More importantly, he stated that the NDC MPs would do their best in fighting against taxes that, in their opinion, cannot be in the interest of the citizens
Of course, we admit that that the NDC MPs have a right to use all lawful means at their disposal to win their cases in Parliament, including fighting lawfully against implementation of certain taxes.
That, in our opinion, is different from the seeds of confusion that are being sown on the grounds with references to a ‘Shi Mi Preko’ demonstration, which they want to borrow from the ‘Kume Preko’ demonstration.
While we wish the convalescing NDC MPs speedy recovery, we would urge the Minority to stay committed to the same hallowed processes that gave the nation Alban Bagbin the Speaker of Parliament and last Friday’s process that voted for hope and a transformation of our economy.
The NDC must lead in putting Ghana first because owing per se is no evidence that a nation or business or home is broke and insolvent. Owing may also mean one is credible enough to get any amount of resources to develop, as long as partners have trust in that nation or business.
The 2021 Budget is planned and designed against the background of a resilient economy, and has potential to reverse our debt stock and generate huge reserves, as government ensures value for money and prudent management of resources.
What is critically required is all of us as a people, led by our elected representatives in Parliament, putting aside our individual and parochial interest and supporting the efforts of the government to turn our situation around for our collective good.