The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has underscored the need for the translation of the national budget into various Ghanaian languages and audio formats to enhance understanding of the citizenry.
Mr Paul Tetteh, Assin-Fosu Municipal Director of the Commission, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said the citizenry understanding of the budget would enable them to demand probity, accountability and transparency.
“A national budget will not make the desired impact if it is not well communicated or understood by the citizenry as it contains key policies and programmes of government that influence the lives of the people.
“A national budget establishes prioritization of the allocation of public resources, achieving policy goals through prudent financial planning, establish accountability, regarding the usage of the tax-payers money and financial controls.”
With the advent of social media and countless media outlets, Mr Tetteh said the budget could be produced in short audio formats in different languages, explaining in detail, sector-by-sector policy directive of the budget.
Equally, the NCCE had shown over time, that given the necessary resources, it was capable of discharging its duties effectively in collaboration with other state agencies.
Mr Tetteh recounted days in the past when the abridged 1992 Constitution was written in different languages while the introduction of new taxes among others, were simplified into pamphlets and brochures containing pictures and information about an intended purpose.
These were shared among the citizenry, regardless of one’s location, ethnic group and religious or political persuasions to enhance their understanding of national issues.
He said the Commission was working assiduously in executing its mandate but often came under unwarranted attacks from the public for not doing much as expected.
“We are working and ready to do more, given the needed resources,” the Director stated.
Mr Edward Boateng, a mobile money vendor, said although “I listened to the reading of the budget, I didn’t understand until it was translated into my language, Twi.”
“The government should put measures in place to ensure that the budget is always translated into local languages. We understand the issues better when explained to us in our local languages,” he said.