Parliament tasks Minority, Majority Chief Whips to develop framework for Science and Technology

Parliament has asked the Minority and Majority Chief Whips to facilitate a joint committee to prepare a baseline and report on how 1 percent of GDP to be given for development of science and technology will be measured when allocated.

As part of the government’s effort to contribute to the development of science and technology and innovation, President Akufo-Addo in January outlined seven pillars of growth for science and technology, which included committing at least one percent of GDP in the short medium term to the development of science and technology.

Based on this, MP for Oforikrom, Dr. Emmanuel Marfo had recommended that the house establishes a joint committee on environment, science and technology, finance and government assurance to develop a framework and build consensus with the relevant stakeholders of Research and Development on Research and Development financing elements of government’s budget.

According to him, almost 90 per cent of total CSIR budget goes into the payment of compensation leaving only 0.4 per cent of total budget release for goods and services.

“A further analysis, using CSIR budget alone for the past years suggest that even the meagre financing from government is not adequate to undertake the real research and technology development activities need. From 2014 to 2018, on average only 64 percent of total CSIR budget had been released. Sadly, almost 99.6 percent of total releases by government of Ghana has gone into the payment of compensation, leaving only 0.4 percent of total budget release for goods and services an capital expenditure” he said.

“What this means is that over these years, government has only been paying the salaries of Scientist and workers of CSIR without committing substantial resources for the actual research and technology development work,” Dr. Marfo added.

The report is expected to be presented before parliament within one month.

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