A former Member of Parliament for Akim Oda and Finance Minister Yaw Osafo-Maafo has hinted that during the Kuffuor led administration, Ghana benefitted tremendously from HIPC due to a whopping sum of money bestowed by financiers.
ï¿½Our financiers gave us (Ghanaians) six million dollars for free. The greater portion of the money we owe was given to us for free. As at now, every year we continue to receive this money from our financiers. Each year we receive an amount of one eighty and two hundred and twenty million dollars. If you go to the ministry of finance they received this money every year and we are still spending it.ï¿½
ï¿½That is the benefit of the HIPC which Kuffuor led us to and we will continue to receive that for twenty (20) years,ï¿½ he said.
According to Yaw Osafo Maafo, government must be cautious on how monies are disbursed because the country cannot be a HIPC nation again since the nation is now classified as a middle income country.
He intimated that Ghana, just like Spain, needs to sacrifice a lot to exonerate itself from becoming a Heavily Indebted Poor Country.
ï¿½They (NDC) must be careful if they are spending the money. If I hear someone saying Ghana will go back to HIPC, it baffles me because Ghana can no longer be a HIPC nation. Ghana is a middle income country; we are at the lower level now. HIPC is only meant for countries in certain categories. Did you see what happened to Spain, they are a developed country and canï¿½t join the HIPC countries. No nation will ever bestow all your debts for you freely and less than three years you want to join the HIPC,ï¿½ he warned.
He further explained; ï¿½Even the Paris club will not allow us (Ghanaians) to join HIPC again. We have to apply for the HPIC and they will not allow us again. Since we can no longer join, Ghana will be a heavily indebted country meaning a developed country that will lack funds. We must prevent that, prevention is better than cure. We must come together and analyze the economyï¿½.
Speaking on an Accra-based Asempa FM, Yaw Osafo Maafo blamed the economic crisis on what he called fiscal indiscipline on the part of government.
The former Finance Minister under whose tenure Ghana went HIPC said the only way the Mahama-led administration can recover is to increase taxes.
He however called on Seth Terkper to consult him or other experienced economists to salvage the countryï¿½s economy.
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