Mathew Opoku Prempeh

Energy Minister, Dr Matthew Opoku-Prempeh, says governments must ensure that Ghanaians are given a fair share of the national cake without recourse to any consideration.

This, according to him, would make the people benefit from the resources of the country without hindrances.

Dr Opoku-Prempeh, who spoke on Asempa FM’s late afternoon show Ekosii Sen last week Thursday, bemoaned the situation where governments in the past have allocated resources to Ghanaians on the basis of their voting pattern and loyalty to a particular party. This in the view of the Energy Minister is counter-productive to national development.

He also bemoaned the conduct where the chiefs and people of a particular region would issue ultimatums and blackmails to get governments to budget for developmental projects in their areas.

“I support governments distributing developments, fairly and rationally but for the chiefs and people of a particular region to ask for funds to be allocated for projects in a national budget on the back of threats, blackmails and ultimatums it is unacceptable and we must not countenance such behaviourr,” he said.

His statement comes on the back of arguments from the opposition National Democratic Congress and the Minority in Parliament, putting pressure on government to make allocation in the 2022 budget for the Keta Sea Defence Project amidst threats and inciteful remarks.  

The Manhyia South lawmaker sought to make the point that a national budget cannot cater for all of a country’s needs at a particular time because the needs of the people in various parts of the country are insatiable.

He said the problem of flooding in Kumasi is as pressing a need as the Keta Sea Defence Project and accused the Minority in Parliament of demonstrating bad faith in the matter only because the inhabitants have consistently voted for them.

“A budget is an important national business document that cannot solve all of our problems in a day. The issue of tidal waves existed even before the NPP came into office under President Kufuor. Between the period 1998 and 2000, the NDC squandered the money they themselves allocated for the project frivolously and the people continued to experience this problem. President Kufuor contracted another loan when he was in office for this same project before the NPP left office. Once again, the NDC came to office, squandered the funds and made the project a fiasco between 2009 and 2017 when they were in office,” he alleged.

He indicated his 100% support in favour of the Finance Minister finding the space in the national coffers to take care of the Keta Sea Defence project.

But he continued “the NDC cannot come and put pressure on government to make allocation in the budget on the project just because the place is their stronghold. If that were to happen then anybody or myself could also lead a protest and a demonstration asking for government to also cater for the flooding problems in Kumasi in the national budget. Kumasi has flooded four times but I didn’t see the problem addressed in the budget. He who calls for equity must come with clean hands.”

The Energy Minister further urged the people of Ghana to support government as the ‘Agyenkwa’ Budget contains a clear road map to economic recovery and debt management in the country’s post COVID-19 efforts.