GH¢ 3Million For Creative Arts Is Unrealistic And Confusing

226422928_362629The budget amount of GHC 3,000,000 captured in the 2013 budget statement by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs for the creative sector is unrealistic and confusing.

We all recall the government of Ghana budgeted for GHC 2,000,000 for the creative arts industry in the 2012 fiscal budget which later created needless hubbub for the entire showbiz industry. The reason MUSIGA gave to all of us is that the GHC 2,000,000 was actually meant for a research project to ascertain the contribution of the music industry to Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), though MUSIGA had earlier presented a budget of GHC5, 000,000 to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs. In this year’s fiscal budget for the country, the government budgeted GHC3, 000,000 for the creative sector.

This amount is unrealistic and inconsistent to nous, because when we did not have any ministry for the creative industry, an amount of GHC 2,000,000 was budgeted for just a research project. Now that a ministry has been created which has all the sub-fields of the arts – music, movies, painting, publishing, fashion, modeling, theatre, poetry, sculpturing, etc under it, a Lilliputian amount of GHC 3,000,000 has been budgeted for us.

If MUSIGA alone could present a whooping budget of GHC 5,000,000 to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs as at the time we did not have a ministry for the creative arts in 2012; then it does not make sense for GHC 3,000,000 to be budgeted for the creative sector in 2013 that has a whole Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative arts. Meanwhile, this same ministry has tourism and culture under it to cater for.

The series of germane questions worth asking are: is the GHC 3,000,000 meant for only the creative sector as ambiguously stated in the fiscal budget by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs? Or is the GHC 3,000,000 budget meant for the whole Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative arts? Which inputs did the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs use as its basis to budget for the creative arts industry? Did all the sub-fields of the creative arts industry submit inputs to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs to enable them budget for the creative arts industry?

I have already expressed my opinion that the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs goofed as far as national budgeting is concerned, thus, using only inputs from MUSIGA to draft a budget for the entire creative arts industry in 2012. In the principles of budgeting, it is wrong to do so. One input or parameter cannot be used or relied upon to draft a budget for a whole cost center like the creative arts industry because its sub-fields are many.

I did my possible best to book an appointment with the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Mr. Seth Tekpe for clarity on this observation but the bureaucracy could have delayed me for press. If our own minister Mrs. Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare can offer us explanations or the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs happens to read this piece, we plead for his attention and clarity.

Source: Osarfo Anthony

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