Former President John Mahama has tasked the Minority in Parliament to keep a keen eye on expenditure of the government to avoid unnecessary spending by appointees to impoverise the citizenry.
“The National Democratic Congress Members of Parliament (MPs) will not support and assist the approval of any new loans that did not have specific terms or purpose including the $1 billion syndicated loan presented to the House,” he stated.
Former President Mahama warned that the country was in an economic hole, it would not be prudent to continue digging with more loans, we do not believe existence of crisis permits even more reckless decision-making and all decisions and policy choices made at the critical juncture could offer relief or exacerbate.
The 2022 Budget and Policy Statement noted an international financing programme to raise at least $750 million, with an option to increase it by a further $750 million for budget support, assistance and liability management although the budget captured $750 million, with a $1 billion loan agreement currently before the House.
At a Finance Committee meeting, the Minority stalled approval processes owing discrepancies between the loan presented to the House and what has been presented to the committee for consideration.
Cassiel Ato Forson,a Ranking Member on the Committee, said in the course of the year, they will be taking a term loan of $750 million and questioned why the government wanted the Minority to approve $1 billion.
Delivering a speech at a closing ceremony of a retreat for Minority MPs at Ho, the former President stated that the situation the nation was in would make recovery extremely difficult since she was in a massive hole and did not need further digging to deepen the plight of citizens.
Former President Mahama insisted that until the terms of the $250 million loan component were renegotiated to make them “favourable” and same captured in subsequent budgets, the Minority MPs would not support and assist its approval.
“Our position on the $250 million component remains unchanged, as such unfavourable terms as the $40 million insurance payment and total interest of more than$80 million make it too expensive and inimical to the economic interest of the country and also not programmed in the 2022 budget and policy statement.
“After raising concerns on the $750 million component, some effort has gone into renegotiating the costs and terms, which now appears more favourable however, we are unclear on the exact purpose of the loan and the NDC will only support and assist its approval if evidence of use for specific growth-related projects leading to improvements in livelihoods is presented,” former President Mahama postulated.