The Minority Leader Cassiel Ato Forson has emphasized that the Bank of Ghana cannot unilaterally write off government debt without the approval of Parliament.
He also claims that the government should not force the Bank of Ghana to write off government debt without seeking parliamentary approval.
During his presentation of the Minority’s response to the 2023 mid-year budget review, Dr. Ato Forson raised concerns over the Central Bank and the executive arm of the government writing off nearly GHC48.4 billion of government debt owed to the Bank of Ghana without seeking the necessary parliamentary approval.
Dr. Ato Forson emphasized that the entire government of Ghana’s debt restructuring program should be subjected to parliamentary scrutiny.
He firmly believes that any significant decisions related to government debt and finances should be presented to Parliament for proper examination and approval.-
“The entire government of Ghana’s debt restructuring programme must be submitted to parliament for scrutiny,” the minority leader said.
Debunking Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta’s position that the government has “turned the corner” in the economic management of the country, Dr Ato Forson said, “Mr Speaker, we have not turned the corner. We have not even seen a corner from where we are as a country. In fact, we are still in the woods. We are nowhere near the corner, let alone turn it”.
Dr Ato Forson further said the government must rather apologise to the people of Ghana “for destroying our livelihoods, our country and our motherland”.
He said the government has successfully collapsed all state-owned enterprises and institutions, adding “The almighty Bank of Ghana is now bankrupt with negative equity of over GHC55 billion and counting that will require the taxpayer to recapitalise it”.
Dr Ato Forson quizzed “Who would have thought that the once prestigious Ghana Cocoa Board will today be bankrupt to the extent that they cannot repay their debt to cocoa bondholders, cocoa road contractors, Licence Buying Companies and fertiliser suppliers”?
He said the New Patriotic Party’s administration has also successfully murdered the financial health of almost all our state-owned enterprises.
“ECG, yaamutu; GIHOC Distilleries, yaamutu; NEDCo, yaamutu; GRIDCo, yaamutu; Buffer Stock Company, yaamutu; Ghana Publishing Company, yaamutu; Ghana Railways, yaamutu; STC, yaamutu; Ghana Airport Company Limited, yaamutu. What a corner you have turned, Mr. Minister!, the Minority Leader chanted.
Dr Ato Forson continued “How could you claim to have turned a corner when GDP growth has been revised from 2.8% to 1.5%, current net international reserves is about 1 week of import cover and it is projected to be about 3 weeks (0.8 months) of import cover by the end of the year 2023 even with IMF cash”?
He said the Finance Minister’s claim that the government has “turned a corner” in its economic management does not add up, quizzing further “How could you claim to have turned a corner when inflation is currently 42.5% and rising and projected to be 31.3% by the end of the year, when monetary policy is 30% and rising, and commercial bank lending rate is 36% and rising”?
The Minority Leader said “The performance of this economic management team, despite the hype, over the past seven years has been beyond abysmal”, adding “With this mess created by the NPP administration, Ghana will require over 5 years of collective sacrifice and dedication to turn things around”.
“Mr. Speaker, the government has rewritten Ghana’s economic history and a book on HOW NOT TO MANAGE AN ECONOMY must be dedicated to this Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government”, Dr Ato Forson concluded.