A two-day consultative forum to collate inputs from stakeholders for the 2024 National Budget and Economic Policy, held in Tamale, has brought to the fore the need for government to prioritise budgetary allocation increment for infrastructure development.
Infrastructure in the areas of health, education, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), among others, must be prioritised.
Participants at the forum, organised by SEND-Ghana, under its Monitoring for Financial Savings (M4FS) Project, with funding support from Integrity Action, called for the development of a more comprehensive budget for the 2024 financial year.
It should have adequate provision for classroom infrastructure, teacher accommodation, health centres with equipment, emergency facilities to manage epidemics, accommodation for health workers, potable water for communities and waste disposal facilities.
Mr Mohammed Mumuni, the Regional Programmes Manager, SEND-Ghana, said the prevalence of uncompleted health and educational centres, and WASH projects in the northern sector accounted for the existing gaps in quality health care delivery, and positive learning outcomes.
He urged the Government to make resources available to complete those projects to facilitate effective service delivery.
“Beyond this fora, we will continue to engage with government and other relevant stakeholders to ensure evenly distribution of state resources for the collective interest of the country,” he said.
Dr Alex Amankwa Poku, the Head of Budget Development and Reforms, Ministry of Finance, who made a presentation on Ghana’s macroeconomic performance and fiscal policy initiatives for 2022- 2023, said the impact of global economic crisis continued to affect the implementation of some policies and programmes.
As at May, this year, the Government was able to release about 52 per cent of its budgetary allocation for WASH, 36 per cent for health, and 33 per cent for education, he said.
Mr. Brian Sampram, the Principal Health Planner, Ministry of Health, said the Ministry, under the 2023 Budget, had implemented some strategic programmes, including the Dissemination of Pharmaceutical Traceability Strategy and the National Guidelines for Nursing and Midwifery Mentorship.
Dr Issahaque Munawaru, the Savelugu Municipal Director of Education, commended SEND- Ghana and partners for the forum and called for more collaboration between government and non-governmental organisations for rapid development.
Participants were drawn from the various metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies within the northern belt, among other local partners.