The Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has asked the public to disregard media reports making round that the country has been ranked in the category of Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC).
According to him, the numerous publications were not only fake but also a deliberate fabrication to deceive the public.
Speaking at the Nation Building Updates Series held in Accra yesterday, Mr Oppong Nkrumah said as the country approached the general elections, some elements were deliberately churning out such falsehood in deliberate attempt to discredit the work government had done since assuming office in 2017 to revive the economy.
“There are suggestions being spread particularly on social media that Ghana has been declared HIPC again and I am sure you would have noticed that a lot of persons are sharing materials on social media that the IMF or World Bank has declared Ghana HIPC or listed Ghana as one of the HIPC countries and it is a suggestion that the economy is not as good a shape that we claim it is,” he said.
Furthermore, he said “For the avoidance of doubt and because we have also mentioned that we are aware that some persons in the weeks ahead of the elections will seek to spread a lot of false information and fake news, it is important to quickly respond to it right here and right now. Categorically we say to you it is not true that Ghana has been declared HIPC or has been added to the list of HIPC countries,” he added.
“The publication out there lists the countries that participated and qualified for it. Currently, there is no HIPC programme for any country to qualify for so if anybody is spreading that and adding to it a narrative that suggests that Ghana is now a highly indebted poor country and has been listed on an IMF or World Bank publication as such.”
Mr Oppong Nkrumah, therefore, appealed to the general public to ignore such publications and treat it with the utmost contempt it deserved.
He also called on the media to be circumspect and thoroughly conduct background checks before publishing such news items to maintain the credibility of the profession.
The HIPC was a group of 39 developing countries with high levels of poverty and debt overhang who qualified for financial assistance from the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and other multilateral, bilateral and commercial creditors between 1996 and 2001. It was designed to ensure the reduction in the debt levels of poor and indebted countries.
BY CLIFF EKUFUL