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29.10.2002 General News

Water Cannot Be Privatized – Dr Botchwey

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Former Finance Minister, Dr Kwesi Botchwey has joined the protagonists against water privatization. He argued last Saturday that poverty alleviation cannot be achieved while easy access to such a basic social amenity (water) is denied the poor. Dr Botchwey who was Ghana’s Finance Minister from 1982 to 1995, said he was not against the policy of privatization but as a poor country we need to reckon that fact and subsidise basic things apparently for our poor people.

He conceded, however that he was aware of the tremendous funding problems that the Ghana Water Company (GWC) faced, but nonetheless, the GWC could be retained to provide its social responsibilities by ensuring that corruption in that sector was reduced to the minimal and competence enhanced to the maximum.

Botchwey said it was important for Ghanaians to define clearly “our privitisation strategy, to decide whether we are doing it for revenue mobilization purposes, whether we are doing it for greater efficiency in the economy” and that if it should be done, it should involve a transparent and clear process. He said productive assets should not depend on state subsidy and assistance because that will not help.

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