Oil Price Increases Are Worrisome ... And lies about NPP anti-corruption strategy
'GHANA Palaver' has laid hands on a copy of the speech delivered by Ghana's fraudulently acclaimed 'Africa's Best Finance Minister', Yaw Osafo-Maafo at the 2004 Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors of the IMF and the World Bank held on Sunday, October 3, 2004, in which the Minister confesses that there are downside risks inherent in world crude oil developments that cannot be under-estimated and that are worrisome and could put the reform programmes of non-oil producing African countries such as Ghana at risk. The Finance Minister also conceded that on current trends, many African countries would not be able to meet the UN's Millennium Development Goals unless they are provided with additional resources. He pleaded that in an already resource constrained environment, the rising oil import cost will call for additional resources in the short term to underpin the macro-stabilization and other reforms that have begun to deliver increasingly rapid growth. Yet back home in Ghana, Yaw Osafo-Maafo and his NPP Government in typical propagandist vein continue to insist that the increased world crude oil price will not have any effect on Ghana's economic performance because the Government has so managed the economy that the increases can be comfortably absorbed.
At the same time that the Government is telling this obvious lie to the people of Ghana, it has also reached agreement with the IMF and the World Bank for petroleum prices to be increased soon after the elections, specifically by February 2005.
Exporting his Government's penchant for telling lies from Ghana to Washington DC, Yaw Osafo-Maafo lied to the IMF/World Bank that Ghana had put a new anti-corruption agenda in place, including new Codes of Conduct for state officials, a reform of the procurement system, and the strengthening of the anti-corruption agencies.
Yet, the major development on the anti-corruption front for the past year has been President Kufuor's infamous Cape Coast "waa, waa" speech in which he literally threw up arms in despair in the fight against corruption, lamenting that corruption dated from the days of Adam, that there was corruption everywhere, that there was very little that could be done about corruption, and that his strategy for dealing with corruption was to try to resist it and to call his corrupt Ministers and advise them.
As for putting new Codes of Conduct for state officials in place, Ghanaians must be reading about it for the first time from Osafo-Maafo's address to the IMF and the World Bank.
And as for the state anti-corruption agencies, suffice it to say that the one with the most direct responsibility for dealing with corruption, the SFO, has not had a Board of Directors and has not had a substantive Executive Director since the NPP came into office. So much for strengthening of the anti-corruption agencies.