The Ghana Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) Platform on the Oil and Gas, Education, Agriculture, and Health has made key recommendations to strengthen those sectors' budgeting for Ghana’s sustainable development initiatives.
OIL AND GAS
Speaking at 2020 budget forum in Accra, Dr. Steve Manteaw, Chairman, Civil Society Platform on Oil and Gas presenting at the forum said, the reduction on tax in the 2020 budget is a welcome news, he went further to say that, there is the need to deal with excess generation capacities due to excessive appreciation and signing of an agreement that caused embarrassment to oil and gas sector.
He said a renegotiation of dues in that arena was very vital, adding that the government would have to resolve addressing challenges of the PDS agreement, therefore, it is good to allow public swooping.
He added that due diligence should be done to ensure proper execution of businesses moving this sector.
The fact that privatization has not benefited Ghana as he mentioned though it has been successful. It was the case we allowed individuals participation in companies like Vodafone and Goil, the approach was very important not to just leave it to individual companies but just risked their profit outstanding.
Mr. Kofi Asare, Executive Director, Africa Education Watch, said, allocations to circuit supervision’s work has improved as GH¢500 is received by each circuit supervisor now.
In addition, only free SHS received about 100% allocation to that initiative, however, the budget still sits at the presidency which he said is a worry.
He mentioned that teacher training allowance should be reviewed stating that, since teachers' training has been upgraded, there is the need to allow them to show up to what their colleagues in the tertiary institutions get by accessing loans instead of allowance.
Mr. Charles Nyaaba, Head of Programmes and Advocacy, Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana, who gave some insight of the Agric-sector, he said, 6.4% agricultural growth has been recorded and by the end of 2019 there would be an increment in percentage. He said Agric productions received 90% of improvement initiatives in agriculture.
There is the need to support traders in the rice industry so that, the dream of having people purchase and deal with all the products from the sector would be met, however, storage facilities remain a bigger challenge in the sector. He advised food processing should be encouraged so that products do not end up on their farms.
On poultry, he said there should be support for poultry production with a very good outlines program for the farmers.
Meanwhile the Advocacy Coordinator of Planned Parenthood Association Ghana (PPAG), Mr. Archibald Adams also calls for the abolishing of Nursing trainee allowances.
On his part, Dr. Alex Ampaabeng, OXFAM Ghana’s Fiscal Policy Specialist, emphasized on the need to expand the domestic tax net.
He also called on the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to adopt a more persuasive method and tool in collecting taxes instead of their aggressive way it currently uses.