24.05.2004 General News

Chinese Salon Loan: Osafo Maafo Must Resign

24.05.2004 LISTEN
By Chronicle

A member of the national executive committee of the National Reform Party (NRP), Ms. Emelia Arthur, has called for the immediate resignation of the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Hon. Osafo Maafo, and the entire government economic management team, for the role they have played in the CNTCI loan saga.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Chronicle in Takoradi last Thursday, Emelia Arthur said if it were other democracies from head to bottom, including Osafo Maafo, would have resigned without being asked to do so because it was the latter and his team who took the loan agreement to parliament for ratification.

According to her, not quite a along time ago, the same Finance Minister and his team went in for the IFC loan agreement but it turned out later to be a scam and now Ghanaians are being confronted with another - the CNTC saga.

“I mean the whole thing smells. What kind of tardiness is that?” She asked.

Touching on the overall performance of the NPP government, Emelia Arthur said there was no doubt that the previous NDC government messed up things before the current government was ushered in to office.

She however noted that NPP had the goodwill of Ghanaians to have changed things to show them that they were going to do things differently when it came to policy direction.

Regrettably, she continued, NPP was rather toeing the same line of NDC by following structural adjustment, IMF and World Bank direction, except that theirs is a little bit enhanced.

“Apart from corruption and other things that we criticized NDC of doing, one of the main reasons why they lost the election was the negative impact of the structural adjustment difficulties on Ghanaians,” she said, and mentioned access to education and social services as some of the negative effects of the structural adjustment which NPP also appeared to be following.

According to her, a recent survey conducted by the Ghana Statistical Service indicated that poverty was still high in the three northern regions.

She said the survey further revealed that food crop farmers, who incidentally happened to be mostly women, were the poorest livelihood group.

She continued that last year our economy grew by 5.2% but a critical look at this growth revealed that it occurred in the cocoa sub-sector of the agricultural sector - meaning that there was no growth in the fisheries and livestock sectors of the economy where most people in the north and along the coast of the Volta, Central and Western regions operate.

Emelia told The Chronicle that if the three northern regions and parts of both Central and Volta regions had been identified as the poorest geographical locations in the country and yet there was no growth in the sectors they operate then the government could not claim to be addressing poverty in the country.

She argued that these lapses coupled, with the current CNTCI loan saga and the IFC loan scam, had negated any achievement the NPP government claimed to have made.

She added that the free, open liberalization of every thing was not helpful and that the goodwill that the government had had not been used satisfactorily to the best of her knowledge.

Emelia Arthur also hinted that she was going to contest the Shama seat once again on the ticket of NRP.

Though she admitted that contesting an incumbent whose government is in power was a major challenge or threat, she was still confident of winning this time round.

Commenting on whether NDC and other opposition parties would support her candidature, Arthur said so far as she was concerned there had been an indication of that sort from different quarters but nothing had been formalized yet.

“I am willing to work together with different political parties in the interest of the people in the constituency and Ghana as a whole,” she said.

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