The People’s National Convention (PNC), and the Convention People’s Party (CPP), say they want the government’s 2017 budget to address the rising unemployment levels in the country.
They say the government must announce its plans for job creation to employ the many teeming youth of the country who are currently unemployed.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) government, will present its first budget statement to parliament on Thursday, 2nd March, 2017.
The statement is expected to detail government’s projected revenue and expenditure for the 2017 fiscal year.
President Akufo Addo last week announced in his State of the Nation Address that the budget will provide a clear policy direction of his government.
But ahead of the presentation by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, opposition political parties are expecting the government to reveal how it intends to fund its key campaign policies.
The Convention People’s Party CPP, for instance, wants the government to clearly state how it intends to cut down on the high rate of youth unemployment.
The Communications Director of the CPP, Abdul Kadir Rauf, told Citi News that, “the massive support that the NPP got largely came from the youth. The youth were there making noise and advocating for Nana Akufo-Addo to come to power because they were expecting a fair share of the national booty. So we expect that in the budget, a significant amount of money be earmarked to engage in youth enterprises development to give opportunities to the youth, those who have their own initiatives and want to bring it to limelight. And also clear cut job creation opportunities and avenues should be created. We are expecting that in the budget.”
“We want to see a significant amount of money put into the agriculture sector so that it does not only create jobs for the majority of youth in that sector, but it also creates opportunities for the aging population.”
He added that, on education, “we all know the NPP made a lot of political capital out of the free SHS policy of Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, so we want to hear the amount of money that will be earmarked for that purpose.”
Meanwhile, the National Chairman of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Bernard Mornah, has told Citi News his party is expecting the minister to highlight how the government intends to fund some of its major campaign promises such as the Free SHS policy, restoration of teacher and trainee nurses allowance, one-district one-factory programme, and the one-dam one-village policy.
He stated that, “if you listened to president Akufo-Addo during the State of the Nation address, he made mention of the Takoradi to Paga railway line, that it will be initiated this year. We want to see what budget appropriation will be made towards that direction. And above all, ministries by ministries starting from Agriculture, what budgetary allocation will be made to ensure that they are able to deliver on their mandate.”
Many Ghanaians are also expectant of the government’s first budget.
Some told Citi News they want the document to spell out a clear road map on dealing with youth unemployment in the country, as well as addressing the country’s ailing energy sector.