New government to present budget before end of March

Vice President John Mahama

The ruling NDC Government would present its first budget statement to Parliament before the end of March this year.

Vice President John Mahama said there were huge economic deficits and government’s top priority was to stabilise the economy.

Mr Mahama announced this during a courtesy call on him by the Parliamentary Press Corps in Accra to congratulate him on assumption of office as Vice President.

It was also to commend him for his cordial relationship with the Press Corps during his tenure as Member of Parliament for the Bole Bamboi Constituency for 12 years during which time he acted as a Media Liaison and Spokesperson on Communications for the opposition NDC in Parliament.

Mr Mahama said there were challenges with the economy and Ghanaians needed to know the true picture of the economy.

He said Government would be negotiating with donors to help address some of the economic challenges, while making sure Government delivered on its campaign promises.

On the Legislature, Mr Mahama said having served as a legislator before and being elected as Vice President, he pledged to work to strengthen Parliament.

He said Parliamentarians were working under very hard conditions with no offices to operate from and when funds were available Parliament would be resourced.

On the Media, Mr Mahama said Government was determined to maintain press freedom and offer the media an enabling environment to operate.

He said it was difficult for the private press to make any profit on cover prices without relying on adverts and urged that state and private institutions should be allowed to advertise in any newspaper regardless of its political affiliation without intimidation.

Mr Mahama pointed out that the media should be self-regulatory to weed out the bad nuts in order to uphold its integrity.

On the killings of some Ghanaians in the Gambia, Mr Mahama said he had asked for a briefing on the state of the investigations and a report from the police team working on the issue.

Mr Edwin Arthur, Dean of Parliamentary Pres Corps, said the opposition NPP, while in government, broadened the horizon of press freedom and allowed more media men and women into the Castle to cover the presidency and urged the NDC Government to maintain the status quo.

He urged Government to support the private media with adverts since they could collapse without any such assistance.

Source: GNA

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