The Ranking Member on Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa is questioning figures from the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture on the money that entered the Ghanaian economy from the Year of Return initiative.
In response to questions in Parliament on Thursday, the sector Minister, Barbara Oteng Gyasi indicated that an amount of US$3.3 billion had been realized from the Year of Return initiative based on increased travel volumes and spending but the North Tongu MP believes the figures are questionable.
He indicated to reporters that, “We are not vigorous with the data. We are just all over the place and you say that on the average, the tourists have spent US$2,931 and yet you’re multiplying that by the global sum of 1.13 million. All those who travelled in 2019 including MPs, traders, journalists, etc, you’ve lumped all that figure and you’re telling us that this is the gains from the year abroad.”
“So honestly, the Minister will have to come back to Parliament. I am not impressed with the response to my question. Ministers have to be thorough. We need to take data seriously so that we can plan. A very laudable initiative and yet, we don’t seem to have captured any credible data that we can work with. This is really unfortunate,” he said.