The Minister of Finance, Jacob Jusu Saffa, has said that allocation of yearly budgets to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) “is not an easy task” taking into consideration the demands from MDAs and the availability of resources.
He said, considering the available resources to be Le50 billion and a particular ministry requesting for Le200 billion, he would have to perform a miracle for such an amount to be allotted to every ministry.
The Minister of Finance was speaking after receiving the Presidential Award as one of the best performing ministries in the country for the 2020 fiscal year due to their stringent economic discipline in ensuring salaries were paid in-time to workers and the availability of commodities during the COVID-19 fight.
Saffa said as a minister and by extension a ministry, they just don’t allocate money to ministries based on what they presented in their budget documents but rather, they carefully observe the coming events calendar and prioritise them by sector.
He said the ministry had to consider a lot of issues before the disbursement of resources, adding that despite them not being able to disburse to ministries in time, the fact is that resources are scarce and that for ministries to receive resource allocations, they have to come with clear cut actions of their activities especially on how they will be implemented upon receipt of funds.
The Finance Minister confessed that because resources were scarce as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, they could not give every ministry the same or required resources because planned activities that were prioritised by government and the ministry were addressed before any other activities.
He said the ministry had to address calls from contractors, government’s priority areas and international partners, adding that his and the works of all other ministries should be managed like a home, and apologised to his fellow ministers for not disbursing monies to them on time as was expected, but promised a positive engagement going forward in the implementation of their projects this year.