The government in its 2023 budget announced its first step toward expenditure rationalization and economic recovery.
Per the 2023 budget statement dubbed ‘NKABOM’, effective 2023,
“All MDAs, MMDAs and SOEs are directed to reduce fuel allocations to Political Appointees and heads of MDAs, MMDAs and SOEs by 50%. This directive applies to all methods of fuel allocation including coupons, electronic cards, chit system, and fuel depots. Accordingly, 50% of the previous year’s (2022) budget allocation for fuel shall be earmarked for official business pertaining to MDAs, MMDAs and SOEs”.
Apart from that, a ban has been placed on the use of V8s/V6s or its equivalent except for cross-country travel.
However, these measures won’t be enough to pull the country out of its current economic woes, according to Professor Godfred Alufar Bokpin, a Financial Economist at the University of Ghana (UG).
Speaking in an interview on Peace FM‘s morning show ‘Kokrokoo‘, Prof Bokpin said, “the market is looking for certain things; it is not just salary cuts or fuel allowance no”. Rather “we need to reduce the number of ministers . . . merge some ministries; that’s more effective”.
“In the last 15 years, we’ve created so many agencies and institutions doing the same thing. Some of them are not doing anything but annually they are receiving budgetary allocation and that is not a growth-friendly spending,” he averred.
Even though Prof Bokpin believes there’s hope, he has asked Ghanaians to brace themselves for more hard times to come.
“The reality is there and Ghana needs to take certain hard decisions. The starting point is to be truthful to ourselves and be driven by data . . . we cannot pretend about this,” he added.