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Osafo Maafo Disputes NPPs HIPC Claim   
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A former Finance Minister under the Kufuor-led administration and a leading member of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Yaw Osafo Maafo has explained that Ghana is still enjoying the benefits under the Highly Indebted Poor Country Initiative (HIPC).

According to him, the country being on a list of 36 countries eligible to receive assistance under HIPC does not necessarily mean Ghana has been declared a poor country again, but only enjoying the benefits of the first initiative in 2001.

A latest release by the Internal Monetary Fund (IMF), stated that Ghana was listed along with 35 countries that include Afghanistan, Chad and Haiti among others, qualified for HIPC.

The HIPC initiative, which was launched in 1996 by the IMF and the World Bank, aimed at ensuring that no poor country faces a debt burden it cannot manage.

But Mr Osafo Maafo said HIPC was not a one-time decision but a process, adding that some of the debts of Ghana were supposed to be paid over a 40-year period.

“Some of our debts were as long as 40 years and 20 years, so we are enjoying the relief until the last repayment schedule of the debt was relieved. So yes, Ghana is among the 36 countries who continue to receive HIPC benefits” he stated.

“And as I speak, the National Democratic Congress’ administration is enjoying HIPC benefits anytime there is repayment we are forgiven and it gets back into our accounts,” he said.
Source: Ghanaian Times

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