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21.09.2005 General News

HIPC funds used as campaign funds?

By Ghanaian Chronicle

Probe disbursement of 2002, 2003 and 2004 HIPC funds” -Haruna Iddrisu Minority spokesperson on communications and Member of Parliament –MP for Tamale South, Mr. Haruna Iddrisu, has challenged President John Agyekum Kufuor's administration to probe the disbursement of the 2002/2003 and 2004 fiscal year of the Highly Indebted Poor Countries -HICP funds.

He alleged that the New Patriotic Party –NPP in those years, has reduced the HIPC funds to their campaign funds, adding that the disbursement was done recklessly at the behest of the then Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, now Minister of Education and Sports, Yaw Osafo Maafo.

“I am calling on the President Kufuor administration to open an investigation into the disbursement of the HIPC funds. I believe that, in the fiscal years of 2002/2003 and 2004, HIPC funds were disbursed by the government at the behest of the then Minister of Finance to support their campaigns,” he said.

Addressing members of the University of Ghana students at Tertiary Education Institution Network -TEIN of the NDC last week, Mr Iddrisu says the way the HIPC funds has been utilized this year based on what was submitted to parliament leaves much to be desired.”

The MP expressed dismay about how an amount of ¢102.8billion was allocated for the Mass Metro Transport system.

“I fail to understand why state monies would be used to finance a private entity,” he said.

The Minority Spokesperson on communications who was speaking on the topic “Zero Tolerance for corruption”, said President Kufuor's declaration of 'zero tolerance' for corruption was a mere physiology and catch phrase, which loses its usefulness.

He said an investigation into how HIPC funds or resources have been disbursed would confirm that the slogan is long dead.

“I am appealing to the donor countries to take interest in this matter since HIPC reliefs are largely intended to better the life of Ghanaians and, in particular, improve upon the social needs of the masses. It appears to me that the money was diverted wrongly,” he said.

He described the whopping US$30 million meant to renovate the Peduase lodge, as misplaced priority after he had questioned what constituted the contingency fund of ¢199.3billion and 'others'.

According the MP, such enormous sums of money allocated for this renovation, could have been used to support the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Okomfo Anokye Hospital and other hospitals.

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