The Majority in Parliament has said the response given by the Minority Caucus with regards to the missing GH¢7 billion exposed how clueless the National Democratic Congress was whiles in government.
According to the New Patriotic Party Majority, the response by the Minority was sad and depicted a government that was “grossly unaware of the extent to which the nation’s books were cooked to provide a false sense of good economic management and to deceive investors.”
The NPP Parliamentary caucus was responding to an earlier press conference held by the Minority NDC on an alleged GH¢ 7 billion which was said to be missing by Vice President Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.
Dr. Bawumia, at an event in Accra on Tuesday, accused the previous government of failing to disclose expenditure amounting to GH¢7 billion from the state’s coffers between 2014 and 2016.
But the NDC Minority, led by the former Deputy Finance Minister, Cassiel Ato Forson, in a response explained that, the GH¢ 7 billion that the Veep talked of was as a result of a “major initiative or reform on government contracts and expenditure, which is part of the GIFMIS project that the new administration is expected to continue implementing.”
In response to the Minority, which is appearing to be a ding dong affair between the two sides, the Majority said if the issues raised by Dr. Bawumia was not addressed, “it will threaten the ability of this government and future governments to deliver on their mandates.”
At a press conference in Parliament yesterday, Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah, MP for New Juaben South, said on the reality that the period dates back 2014, suggested that “full disclosure of data was not made available to the IMF” when the NDC government entered into negotiations with the IMF.
“Clearly, there is admission by the Minority that the GH¢ 7 billion expenditure, which has been kept out of purview of the books of government, constitutes real expenditure that have been undertaken,” he said if the Minority argued that the expenditure uncovered was due to reforms undertaken by government contracts as part of the GIFMIS.
“Already, we are learning if a budget deficit on a cash basis of 8.5 – 9.5 per cent of GDP. These new uncovered arrears could put the overall budget deficit at 10 – 11 per cent of GDP,” Dr. Assibey-Yeboah said.
He said given the fact that implementation of the Extended Credit Facility agreement with the IMF was underway, the fund stood in a better position to make the issues clearer when the IMF team arrives in the country next week.
He said taking cognizance of data issues in some institutions, the NPP administration promised to come clean on data and “we strongly believe that it is about time we cleaned up the data mess.”
He stressed that the political change that has been fostered by the people, presented the government with the opportunity for institutions to come clean on data, so we appeal to all to come clean before the 2017 budget was finalised and read.”
By Julius Yao Petetsi