07.10.2004 General News

Government to pay loans contracted by 31st DWM

07.10.2004 LISTEN

Accra, Oct. 7, GNA - The Government is to pay a loan of 2,482,007 dollars the 31st December Women's Movement (DWM) took from African Development Fund (ADF) to execute its Women's Community Development Project.

Speaking at press conference in Accra on Thursday, Mrs Gladys Asmah, Minister of Women and Children's Affairs (MOWAC), said a total of about 3,382,823 dollars was given to the DWM for the Women's Community Development Project and "there is no record of repayment of the loan or any part of it to date".

She said the financial statement by Deloitte and Touche of 31 December 1998 showed that the Government of Ghana (GOG) provided counterpart funding of about 229,364 dollars as a condition of the loan facility.

The Minister said, "from the project document and reports submitted by Deloite and Touche, the Government of Ghana (GoG), acting through the Ministry of Finance (the borrower) took a loan of one million eight hundred and twenty four thousand AU (AU 1,824,000 an equivalent of 2,482,007.67 dollars) and an ADF Protocol (Grant) of four hundred and forty-two thousand AU (AU 442,000 an equivalent of 601,451.42 dollars from the African Development Fund, (the lender)".

She said, even though, a total of 3,382,823.59 dollars was given to DWM, the Movement's name never appeared in the loan agreement but that of the Government of Ghana as the borrower and guarantor adding: "There was nothing on paper which made DWM liable in case of default.

"Who was to repay the loan in case of default? It certainly would not be the 31st DWM, whose name never appeared in the loan agreement, but the GoG as the borrower and the guarantor," she said.

Mrs Asmah stated that the DWM conveniently used the National Council on Women and Development (NCWD) as a decoy for its purposes. The NCWD, which should have been a party to the loan agreement from the inception, came in at the tail end of proceedings to append its signature to the cheques that were issued by the Ministry of Finance.

The Minister said the creation of MOWAC was not for political expediency, but was in line with Ghana's international obligation to give the highest consideration to issues affecting women.

"The NCWD and the Ghana National Commission on Children (GNCC) are now departments under MOWAC, which had rather helped to strengthen and ensure that issues relating to women and children were dealt with at the highest level of Government," she said.

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