Kwasi Kyei Darkwah (KKD) has condemned Ghana’s usage of Databank, a company co-founded by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, as foolish and senseless.
“I read a report yesterday that broke my heart. I saw how much Ghana owes but I also found that apparently, the minister of finance’s company or former company, is the transaction advisor to the monies we borrow. So, as Ghana gets poorer, the minister of finance’s company or former company gets richer”, he pointed out on state broadcaster GTV’s breakfast show hosted by Kafui Dey on Wednesday, 17 August 2022.
“Is this what we want to continue in this country? Do we want to elect people into office, give them their pay and perks and then allow them and their friends and their companies or their former companies to be the very beneficiaries of the woes of our country?” he questioned.
According to the Bank of Ghana, Ghana’s overall debt reached GH391.9 billion in March 2022. The country’s debt was $55.1 billion, according to the national bank.
Even while it declined from $58.4 billion in January to $55.1 billion in March, it climbed in cedi terms due to currency devaluation.
40 billion cedis were added. January 2022 debt was $351.7 billion. Ghana’s debt to GDP (in cedis) rises to 78%.
From March 2021 to March 2022, debt climbed from GH304.6 billion to GH391.9 billion.
Domestic debt climbed by GH8 billion between January and March, representing 38% of anticipated GDP for 2022.
The external debt climbed by GH32 billion in the first three months of 2022, from GH169.8 billion in January to GH201.9 billion in March.
Mr. Darkwah believes parliament should stop the plunder by prohibiting the finance minister from utilizing his private company as a transaction counsellor for state loans.
“This is not only about the minister of finance; this is about parliament; parliament, you must be ashamed of yourself. You have failed the people of Ghana, because I don’t think from the time of Nkrumah to date, whoever is the minister of finance should be benefitting every time our country goes to borrow money”, he complained.
“Is that what happened under everybody in this country? What precedent are we setting? Yesterday, when I read the report, I was so broken and I was like: ‘Do people know this?’ So, I called four different people; some in civil society, some in government, some in the former government, and they said: ‘Oh, but this is general knowledge’, and I’m like: ‘It’s general knowledge and parliament thinks it’s OK?’”, Mr Darkwah wondered.
“So, whoever wins the next election will also set up their own companies and be the transaction advisors when we go and take a loan? What is wrong with us as a people? So, the person’s motive for even going for a loan, for me, now, is not clear because every time we take a loan, their company makes money. Does this make sense to us as a people?” Mr Darkwah complained.
He said: “We have leaders of industry, some, who have been deprived of their finances and, in the meantime, the people who are sitting in power, are stealing us blind and all people can tell me is: ‘Oh, but this is general knowledge’. What sort of foolishness and nonsense is going on in this country? What a shame! What a damn shame!”
“When they are out of power, will they want whoever comes into power, to repeat what they are doing? This is not NDC, NPP. Parliamentarians, you are supposed to help us protect the public purse. You can’t just go and sit there and vote: ‘I am NPP, I am NDC’. Vote your conscience and vote your constituency”, he charged.
“You cannot become the transaction advisor for going to take loans when you are the minister of finance. How is that possible?” he stressed.
Mr Darkwah said lawmakers can’t let the present quo remain. Why are we doing this? The government wants to make all the money, so everyone else should be in trouble. It’s nonsense. Conflict of interest is the root.
He asked why the CHRAJ hasn’t stepped in.
“Now water is going up, electricity is going up and some people that we have put into positions of authority, are raping the country. Why? How much of the money will you spend? You are leaving it for your children and your children know you are doing this? And your children will come and tell other children: ‘Your father didn’t work hard enough’ because you were stealing from the people. So, those children whose parents did not steal from the people, will be suffering and your foolish children will come and tell those children: ‘Your father didn’t work hard enough’. No. Their father didn’t steal state money”.
“What is this? And nobody wants to talk about it because if you talk about it, they will impoverish you. Hey, if nobody kills you, you’ll die your won natural death”, he said.