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09.02.2006 General News

Nation Needs Accountability On Debt Relief – CPP

By CPP (UK & Ireland) Secretariat.

In his “State of The Nation” address the President Mr J.A. Kufour mentioned a 100% cancellation of Ghana's $7billion debt, to which the response in our press release of 1st February 2006, was that this “……..should have been accompanied by bold government initiatives against the savings realised every year from debt servicing”.

It would seem that an International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation visiting Ghana has picked up on the same theme, urging the NPP government to use any fruits of debt relief wisely.

The 7 member team of IMF Executive Directors have been quoted as saying, “ so that we do not come here in 10 years time to talk about another debt relief issue”.

For a visiting delegation to perhaps note this in private meetings with officials is one thing, to be publicly making such pronouncements is an indictment of the ruling party and indeed the nation.

Let us not forget however that Ghana's state of indebtedness and becoming a highly indebted poor country (HIPC), flows from the failures of IMF prescribed policies and that debt relief or cancellation is not the solution to developing Ghana.

We have repeatedly stated that a move away from reliance on donor funds and a complete transformation in the way Ghana's economy operates is the path to developing our country.

The NPP government is a self declared champion of good governance with a policy of “zero tolerance on corruption” and thus in the interest of the nation and in its own interest it would be prudent to publish fully the savings to be derived annually from debt relief and government plans on how this will be used to better the lives of ordinary Ghanaians. It must also in the interest of accountability put in place monitoring mechanisms to enable Ghana's Parliament and indeed the nation review progress each year against the government's plans. – Perhaps a Sub Committee of Parliament can be tasked with such a role. We can then all look forward to a future Presidential address to Parliament at which the nation is boldly informed by the President on the progress and benefits to the populace of debt relief savings.