[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he founder and leader of the All Progressive Party (APC), Hassan Ayariga, has described the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government’s 2018 budget as an ‘Azonto budget’, because in his view, it is bereft of cogent measures to address the pertinent challenges Ghana faces.
According to him, the budget is only stuffed with unrealistic promises meant to tickle Ghanaians.
Likening the budget to Azonto, which is a Ghanaian dance, Mr. Ayariga said the budget is akin to an uninitiated beat of music that has no message.
Addressing a press conference on Wednesday to provide his party’s assessment of the budget, Hassan Ayariga said the untold hardship Ghanaians continue to face under the current government will persist since the government is not ready to tackle them.
“The 2018 budget is an Azonto budget for Ghanaians to dance to… The somersault from ‘asempa’ to ‘adwuma budget’ is an uninitiated beat of the music that has no message… Teachers are suffering and crying, Nurses, patients, students, pensioners, drivers, contractors, civil servants, farmers, media men and fishermen are all suffering and crying,” he said.
He said the health sector under the current government was going to be seriously stressed due to the marginal cut in the ministry’s budgetary allocation.
While predicting that trainee nurses who enjoy monthly allowances from the government will soon face difficulty in accessing the fund which has been restored, Ayariga said the government had no plans of improving and expanding existing health infrastructure in the country.
Hassan Ayariga also accused President Akufo-Addo of presiding over insecurity and chaos in the country.
He said vigilante groups affiliated to the NPP have been allowed to act with impunity in the country without control.
He noted that the President, as leader of the NPP, must declare the disbandment of all vigilante groups affiliated to the party to guarantee peace and security of all Ghanaians.
“The 2018 budget does not care about you and I. It cares about reckless and unrealistic promises… This is not the change the NPP promised Ghanaians. We want to live in the peace and unity that we once enjoyed in Ghana,” he said.
Free SHS an embarrassment to parents, students – Ayariga
Mr.Hassan Ayariga also described government’s flagship free SHS policy as an embarrassment to students and parents.
He said the governing NPP is desperate for credibility, and is, therefore, implementing policies such as the free SHS in a haphazard manner.
“Who says implementing the free SHS means all is well? Has the Finance Minister heard what people say about the ill-implemented policy? The free SHS is an embarrassment and a disappointment to students and parents.”