A sectoral analysis of the 2020 budget statement conducted by SEND Ghana in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (INICEF) has suggested an inadequate level government’s commitment in allocation of funds to finance capital projects in social sector activities in the national budget.
These social sectors include education, social protection, child protection and welfare, health, water, sanitation and hygiene.
Their major worry is that despite government total expenditure for 2020 fiscal year – which is about Ghc86 billion – representing an increase of 12 percent over the 2019 budget, budgetary allocation for the social sectors for 2020 reduced by 18 percent compared with 2019 as Ghc17.3 billion was allocated to the social sectors in 2020.
Even with the Ghc17.3 billion budgetary allocation, it is interesting to note that about Ghc14.7 billion, representing 85 percent is allocated for compensations, that is salaries. In effect, what is left for the social sector service capital expenditure is only Ghc2.6 billion.
“This raises a legitimate question about priorities and prioritization of the social sectors in the national budget”, Madam Anne-Claire Dufay, a representative of UNICEF Ghana said during a multi-stakeholder forum on sectoral analysis of the 2020 budget statement and economic policies organized in Accra last Friday, further stressing that it is imperative government commits greater attention to the social sectors, most especially open defecation and child protection.
The survey recommended that funds allocated for goods and services in the social sectors should be increased and be released on time to enable Ministries, Department and Agencies have the needed funds to undertake their respective projects.
On education, it was recommended to step-up monitoring and supervision over teaching and learning under the new curriculum to improve the quality of education as well as reducing the huge class size to the standard of one teacher to 35 pupils.
On health, the team recommended to government that it ensures sustained increase in domestic financing for immunization, adding that it is important government releases all funds due to the National Health Insurance Authority.
Regarding child welfare and protection, government was entreated to allocate resources to support the implementation of child-related policies and programmes as well as reducing the over-reliance on donors for child rights promotions, protection and development programmes.