NDC raises doubts over commitment to flood relief
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Volta Region has expressed scepticism regarding Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta's recent promise to allocate some GH¢220 million outlined in the 2024 budget, for the first phase of the government's relief package for victims of the recent flood disaster triggered by the spilling of excess water from the Akosombo and Kpong Dams.
The party said it acknowledged the urgency and necessity of aiding those affected by that human-induced calamity.
However, they remained highly apprehensive and uncertain about the government's ability to fulfil yet another promise.
“Hon. Ken Ofori Atta, the Finance Minister's, track record in meeting financial commitments has always raised questions among the discerning public, and this new pledge only adds to the growing list of such unfulfilled assurances,” a statement issued and signed by the NDC Volta Regional Communications Officer, Sorkpa Kafui Agbleze, said.
“The failed promise, captured in the 2022 Budget, to make available some GH¢10 million to ameliorate the plight of residents of Anlo, Keta and Ketu South Municipalities which have and are still reeling under the havoc of the perennial tidal waves, is still fresh on the minds of the people,” it added.
The party said the 2024 annual budget had woefully failed to inspire confidence since no clear commitments had been made towards their welfare while they wait for the actual release of the funds pledged in the next year's financial statement.
“The recent flood disaster has left many communities along the Lower Volta in distress, requiring swift and effective action.
The Volta NDC, therefore, urges the government to go beyond mere promises and empty rhetoric, and ensure that deliberate immediate disbursements of relief funds are made to drastically alleviate the hardships and suffering of these unfortunate citizens,” it said.
“We believe that the affected people deserve concrete and immediate response.
We will closely monitor the government's actions to ensure accountability and fulfilment of promises made in the 2024 budget,” it stated.
The group, however, commended the government for the submission of a document to the International Development Association (IDA) to enable it to access some funds from the Crisis Response Window from the World Bank but condemned the Finance Minister's failure to inform Ghanaians about the actual amount government intended to access and the timeline to expect such funding.
“We are equally worried about the government's inability to spell out the additional resource allocation by the Ministry of Agriculture for the restoration of livelihood to the victims of the VRA induced flooding so we can properly hold them accountable.
We will accept nothing short of full restoration of livelihood and properties of the affected victims of the flood disaster,” it said