Don’t celebrate approval of 2024 Budget yet – Murtala Muhammed tells Majority

The Tamale Central MP, Ibrahim Murtala Muhammed has urged the Majority in Parliament not to be in a haste in celebrating the approval of the 2024 Budget and Economic Policy statement.

According to the NDC MP, the Minority’s opposition to the budget is far from over.

Speaking on Joy FM’s Top Story on Thursday, December 7, Mr Murtala Muhammed emphasised that while the approval of the policy statement of the budget is not the main concern, “the approval of the budget’s estimates is the most critical aspect.”

“Let’s not celebrate yet… what is critical is the approval of the estimates and mind you every component of the estimate is going to be voted upon and I am not too sure whether they’d [Majority side] be able to garner all their ministers and others to be in Parliament throughout December,” he said.

The lawmaker’s comment comes in the wake of Parliament’s approval of the 2024 Budget and Economic Policy Statement. This approval followed a headcount conducted by the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, in response to resistance from the Minority side.

After the headcount, it was revealed that there were 138 Ayes, 136 Noes, and 1 absent.

In response, Mr Murtala Muhammed said the Minority did not expect the budget to be passed.

This, notwithstanding, he indicated that the 2024 budget being passed “hasn’t changed anything.”

“We protested against the budget because of the taxes imposed on the already depressed Ghanaian … We were not doing that [protesting] just for opposition sake.

“We were doing that anchored on convincing reasons that this budget was empty and would worsen the situation of the ordinary Ghanaian. This was the basis on which we opposed the approval of the budget,” he explained.

Meanwhile, in response to the Tamale Central MP’s comments on the same show, the Ofoase Ayirebi MP, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah dismissed the notion that the Majority side is celebrating the approval of the budget.

The Information Minister stated that their focus is on the estimates aspect of the budget, aiming to include it in the appropriation bill now that one process—the economic aspect—has been approved

“We are very clear in our minds that our brothers on the other side at this stage because of the slim majority we have in Parliament, want to play a political game of subjecting everything to a vote even when it is not a matter in contention. And on our side, we have to ensure that our members are all in the house when it matters to overcome those hurdles,” he added.

Source: Emma Ankrah  

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