Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has lauded the Finance Minister for allocating at least GH₵10million to complete the feasibility engineering studies on the Blekusu Coastal Protection Project.
Mr Ablakwa noted that the modification made to the 2022 budget by the Finance Ministry is great news to the over 4,000 residents in the Volta Region who were displaced by the storm surge that hit Keta, Ketu South and Anloga constituencies on November 7.
According to the MP in a tweet, Mr. Ofori-Atta deserves commendation for “ignoring the bigoted & incendiary threats from a cabinet colleague and going ahead to make an allocation” to ensure the completion of the project.
I commend Hon. Ken Ofori-Atta for ignoring the bigoted & incendiary threats from a cabinet colleague & going ahead to make an allocation for preparatory works on Phase 2 of the Blekusu Coastal Protection Project.
Welcome news to the over 4,000 displaced Ghanaians.
One Ghana 🇬🇭
— Sam Okudzeto Ablakwa (@S_OkudzetoAblak) December 6, 2021
The Finance Minister did not make provision for the tidal waves disaster in the fiscal policy for next year.
The Minority Group therefore rejected the Budget and demanded that government allocates funds for the project among other conditions before they will approve the financial estimates.
Reacting to the Minority’s demand, Energy Minister, Matthew Opoku Prempeh told host of Asempa FM’s ‘Ekosii Sen‘ show that he would lead a demonstration in Kumasi if the Finance Minister decides to include funding for the Keta Sea defence project in the 2022 Budget.
He criticized the conditions set by the Minority. Mr. Prempeh contended that there have been similar disasters in other parts of the country including Kumasi where flooding has destroyed people’s properties. Hence, it would be unjustified for the Minority to “point a gun to the government’s head” to budget for a solution to the disaster that happened in Keta.
The Manhyia South MP further argued that the NDC misapplied funding that was secured in the past to build a sea defence in Keta; thus has no moral right to force this government.
His comment was condemned by Ketu South legislator, Abla Dzifa Gomashie. She described the statement as unministerial and noted that such a comment smacks of bigotry and tribalism.
“It is intellectually bankrupt for him to say that because he has a flooding in his place when I have flooding in my place and I have spoken about it and demanded the state does something about it, he should have the effrontery to sit on a radio station and say that if you respond to her, I would organise a demonstration. How dare you, Napo? How dare you, Minister?… Can you speak with citizens of this country with some respect?” she said on NewsNight on Monday.
After further deliberations Mr. Ofori-Atta on Monday, December 6, disclosed that “We shall make the necessary budgetary allocation of at least GH₵10million to complete the feasibility engineering studies for the coastal communities adversely affected.”
According to him, government will also broaden the scope of the studies to consider a more comprehensive solution to protect Ghana’s 540km of coastline, including the 149km between Aflao and Prampram.
This is what Mr. Ablakwa described as, “welcome news to the over 4,000 displaced Ghanaians.”