Mr Speaker, I would want to place emphasis on that aspect of their mission statement; “To promote decent jobs and ensure harmonious labour relations in Ghana”. The strategic policy objectives include, enhancing labour productivity, and enhancing and promoting harmonious labour relations.
Mr Speaker, the Ministry is supposed to be the arrow head in these endeavours. But come to think of it, for 2015, the total allocation to the Ministry was GH¢43,787,365 and they are going to be allocated, for 2016, GH¢47,925,145. This translates to about 6 per cent increase in the allocation to the Ministry.
Mr Speaker, much more importantly, for Employee Compensation, whereas for 2015, they had GH¢30,242,193, the allocation is GH¢31,840,167 for 2016. That represents an increase of a mere GH¢1,597,974, which translates to just about 5.2 per cent increase in the allocation made last year as against this year.
Mr Speaker, that certainly, would not be encouraging. It does not provide sufficient incentive to the workers there, and they are supposed to be behind the Hon Minister in ensuring that the Mission Statement of the Ministry is achieved.
Mr Speaker, so, they would, in pursuing the agenda of the Ministry, be wearing dark clouds on their foreheads. They are not sufficiently motivated — 5 per cent increase in the allocation. I do not see how anybody can justify this.
Mr Speaker, there are some matters that perhaps, the Hon Minister may want to shed some light on for the elucidation of Hon Members of this House. This is because, in crafting the budget, one must
be as transparent and accountable as possible. We need to do some reconcilia- tion to see where there are shortfalls, that is much against the previous years' allocations et cetera. It is difficult to match the symmetry in 2015 and 2016 allocations.
For instance, if we look at the last year's allocation to the National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI), under “Skills Development”, we had an allocation to the NVTI which amounted to GH¢11,664,082.
Mr Speaker, we are not too sure whether that one is for this year. We have Vocational Skills Training and Testing, and there is a total allocation of GH¢21,059,328. Is it the case that the NVTI amount has been subsumed in that one, or how has it been catered for?
Mr Speaker, I ask because we have opportunities in the Opportunity Industrialisation Centres (OICs) — there is a specific provision for them in 2015 -- and 2014. But they are not covered here. I do not know where they are. I guess they will still be under Vocational Skills, Training and Testing and that is how come we have the GH¢21,059,328.
Mr Speaker, there should be that symmetry, so that we will be able to really compare and contrast.
Mr Speaker, as it is, it is really difficult for anybody to see what is meant by these allocations.
Mr Speaker, I also see for 2015, Integrated Community Centres for Employable Skills. When you come to 2016, you do not find it. I do not know where it is or is it the case that that programme is not being continued? And I thought that for clarity sake and because Parliament should be positioned to trace and track these allocations, they needed
to have come with better explanations but we are not seeing it.
Mr Speaker, for Management Skills Development and Productivity, for last year, the allocation was GH¢2,739,354. For this year, Management Skills Development and Productivity, we have GH¢1,691,026 -- a huge climb down. What explains that? So, Mr Speaker, certainly, this would include Compensation -- What is happening? Before we are able to approve this, some light would have to be shed on these matters, so that we are better positioned in critiquing the allocations to the Ministry.
Mr Speaker, the other point I would want to make is that, under skills development provided for last year -- this year's skills development programme is not properly disaggregated. So, we are not too sure of what we are doing there. We have only two segments, whereas for last year, we had four -- What is happening?
Nobody knows whether they are collapsing some into just one segment or one compartment. They need to explain to us, so that we would be able to follow the allocations as they have designed it this year as against the design provided last year.
Mr Speaker, these are some initial obversations that I have and perhaps, the Hon Minister for Employment and Labour Relations may want to explain to us before we approve of the budget.