Member of parliament for Bongo, Edward Bawa, has revealed that the country is in dire need of the next tranche of funds from the IMF.
According to him, the next tranche of money Ghana is anticipating is hinged on how it deals with negotiation with external creditors. To this end, he questioned the progress made by government in clinching the deal.
“The finance minister seems to be giving some positive vibes, but that’s exactly what he’s supposed to say. He’s the last person to say anything that will look gloomy because he needs to give hope…
“So, I think that we desperately need the next tranche, which is about $600 million for various reasons, but it also depends on how we negotiate with our bilateral creditors in this particular area. I wish the finance ministry very well.”Edward Bawa
Commenting on the impact of the IMF fund so far on Ghanaians, coupled with the finance minister, Ken Ofori-Atta’s insistence that the country has “turned a corner”, Mr Bawa called out the “gymnastics” being advanced by the finance minister.
He noted that what is being put out there by government regarding the health of the country do not directly affect Ghanaians as goods and services remain high.
“… If you go to streets, people are just suffering – electricity bills are going up, water tariffs are going up, and these are basic things that people simply depend on just to survive. Therefore, going back and looking at the situation of the Ghanaian, the situation of the Ghanaian is still not good. So, the figures people will mention and say that we’ve turned the corner, I do not believe we’ve turned a corner.”Edward Bawa
Commenting on information minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah’s statement where he does not believe an agreement with external creditors is a prerequisite for the disbursement of the second installment, as against the need for Ghana to do so as put forth by IMF Mission Chief to Ghana, Stephane Roudet, Mr Bawa highlighted that “the most relevant is the IMF person because they are going to give us the money”.
He stated that the IMF knows the conditions Ghana is supposed to meet before they release the money, hence the need to follow through with its demands.
“I would wish that it shouldn’t be a condition because desperately, government needs these resources, but they are releasing the money, they are indicating to you that you need to meet the conditions before those monies are released. So, I just want to hope that the finance minister speaks and says that they are seriously talking to the bilateral creditors, particularly China…”Edward Bawa
OSP’s collaboration with FBI on Cecilia Dapaah’s case
Touching on the recent collaboration between the FBI and the OSP on Cecilia Dapaah’s case, the Bongo legislator sympathized with the former sanitation minister. He noted that if one’s accounts are frozen, and has no access to it, ordinarily, it should have a toll on her.
“So, I can understand the basis for which the lawyers of Cecilia Dapaah have gone to court to ask for expedited declaration on the frozen accounts and funds. To a very large extent, and in my humble uneducated legal mind, I think that it was a fair thing by the court to say that we want to hear this very quickly so that that determination is made. I think that Cecilia Dapaah should also not be worried.”Edward Bawa
Mr Bawa emphasized that as public officers they are all enjoined that prior to taking up the portfolio one must declare his or her assets. With this, he cited that the opposition NDC ensured that all parliamentary candidates in the past election declared their assets.
“You see the OSP had written to her to declare her property and assets. One of the cases the OSP has sent to court now is based on the fact that she had refused to declare those assets when she was written to.
“As a public officer, the first thing you should have done, even in assuming office, the law says that you should declare that. So, all you may have been doing all this while is to do an update of that – she has refused to get into that deal.”Edward Bawa
Furthermore, Mr Bawa revealed that the country is suffering so much, simply due to the leadership of the current crop. He explained that people have lost their life savings and jobs, only to suddenly “see that in your house, you have such huge sums of money there”.
“… If you can find this in the house of a sanitation and water resources minister, what happens in my estimation, to the richer ministers? Of course, you have a situation where it tells you the level of corruption in this country and it gives a bad name to everybody who is in public office.”Edward Bawa