Aspects of 2017 Budget An Ananse Story

Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr has likened some aspects of the maiden budget of the Nana-Addo administration to a Kweku Ananse story.

Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta presented the 2017 budget in parliament on Thursday. Contents of the budgets were welcomed with ecstasy for those it favoured and scepticism among the minority.

Speaking to the budget during a panel discussion on Radio Gold’s Alhaji and Alhaji, Kwesi Pratt suggested that the Finance Minister was as smart as Kweku Ananse.

“The minister is very clever…he is so clever and smart. There is this Ananse story; Kweku Ananse was sharing two fingers of banana with his two sons; he called the first son and says the banana is only two and the three of us have to share it so you take one and give me half. And he calls the second son and says this is the situation so you too take one and give me half; in reality, he’s taking one and giving his two sons one to go and share. There is an aspect in this budget which is simply put a Kweku Ananse story and it is very similar to Kweku Ananse sharing two fingers of banana with his two sons”.

Explaining which part is similar to the Kweku Ananse story, he said “…one village one dam, one constituency one million, one district one factory; all of that goes to districts. Now we have announced a budget which says that the district assembly common fund is going to be slashed; cut. The district assembly common fund goes to the villages for their development so we are going to cut it; so after we have cut what normally should have gone to the districts, villages and towns, then we make one million dollars available to the same districts; so it is not necessarily an increase in the quantum of resources going to the districts; in any case when these promises were made, the assumption was that every year, one million dollars will go to every one of the 275 constituencies for development projects.

“This budget tells us that no, no, no, don’t rush, don’t jump to conclusions. What we are actually going to do is to create three development authorities; one development authority for the northern sector, a second development authority for the middle belt and a third development authority for the coastal areas and that these resources will go to the development authorities to finance projects in the constituencies…I guess this is why some of the minority MPs were shouting matrikiwo budget…so on the surface, the NPP has fulfilled its promises but in reality, not much has changed.”

However, he added that “it is not in the interest of any Ghanaian irrespective of the political party for the new patriotic party to fail; it cannot be in our interest. If the NPP is to fail, public confidence in our kind of politics will collapse completely…and the NPP itself must make every effort not to fail.

“If the NPP is able to revamp the national economy to embark on projects which will close the gap between the rich and the poor, it will affect every Ghanaian…so the NPP must make progress…they must show signs that they are ready to listen and that they are ready to take constructive criticisms”.

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