Why Bawumia didn’t join Ofori-Atta to present 2023 budget. Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has explained the circumstances surrounding the absence of Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia at the presentation of the 2023 budget.
Bawumia has always accompanied the Minister of Finance whenever the government budget and economic policy is presented to Parliament.
This year’s budget, presented on November 24 by Ken Ofori-Atta, was done without Bawumia in attendance. The absence triggered chatter from some quarters within the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), with the view that Bawumia didn’t want to be associated with the document.
Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu explaining the absence on December 6, 2022 during his final address on the budget debate explained that by law, the president causes to be prepared and laid before parliament the budget with a month to end of year.
“The president causes the budget to be prepared, he doesn’t do the preparation himself and again, the president causes it to be laid in the House, he doesn’t do it himself,” he submitted.
On Bawumia’s absence, he explained that the Vice President was as at November 24 acting as the president because Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was outside of the country and had duly transferred presidential powers.
“Mr. Speaker, in the lead up to the presentation, the president was outside this country, the vice president had assumed the office of the president as the acting president and he couldn’t therefore have accompanied the Finance Minister to this chamber.”
He then took a swipe at the Minority stating: “Mr. Speaker, this really is fundamental and I thought our colleagues will appreciate this. But as usual, they wouldn’t understand and they would inflict their own ignorance on Ghanaians.”
After his address, the budget dubbed ‘Nkabom budget’ was passed by a voice vote whiles MPs continue to debate the nitty gritty as related to estimates for the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
Appropriation is expected to be passed before the end of year as that would help government’s efforts at securing an International Monetary Fund support programme. The IMF conditionality has led to an increasingly unpopular domestic debt restructuring programme.
Why Bawumia didn’t join Ofori-Atta to present 2023 budget – Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu explains