NPP calls gov’t bluff; challenges AfDB to produce memo

The New Patriotic  Party has called the bluff of government over a raging controversy in which Ghana was said to have been sanctioned by the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) for failing to honour its debt obligations.

Director of Communications of the party Nana Akomea says Dr Mahamudu Bawumia cannot be faulted for a gaffe originally committed by the AfDB.

Addressing a lecture in the 4th Distinguished Speaker Series organised by the Central University College the NPP running mate suggested that Ghana’s financial situation is so dire it cannot meet its debt obligations even to the Africa Development Bank.

Referring to a memo issued by the bank, Bawumia said Ghana is named among a list of debtors, including Somalia, Djibouti, Sudan, Zimbabwe all of which are heavily indebted to the bank.

“It would also interest you to know that Ghana has recently been sanctioned by the African Development Bank (AfDB) for non-payment of debt obligations due. This sanction means that signature of new AfDB loan agreements, disbursements on all AfDB ongoing projects and the granting of any new loans have been suspended until the situation is rectified. The sanctions were effective in January 2015,” he said.

Here is a copy of the memo put out by the AfDB of member states under sanction

Just a day after the lecture, the AfDB issued a statement claiming an initial memo they published on the 18th February 2015 which named Ghana amongst the list of debtors was an administrative error.

The Bank claimed it rectified the error the same day it was published.

“On 18 February 2015, due to an administrative oversight, Ghana was erroneously included in the list of countries under sanctions by the AfDB. However, the error was detected that same day and a corrected list was immediately issued in replacement.”

“We wish to state that Ghana is current on all its obligations with the AfDB. Accordingly, Ghana is not on the list of countries under sanctions by the AfDB,” the bank insisted.

The Ghana government has since demanded an apology from Dr Bawumia.

Communications Minister Dr Edward Omane Boamah said given Dr Bawumia’s credential in research and macro economics his failure to crosscheck the information he took from the AfDB cannot be explained under any circumstance.

He would rather the former deputy Governor and his party apologise to the government.

But Nana Akomea insists Dr Mahamudu Bawumia did no wrong.

He challenged claims by the AfDB that the error they put out in the public domain was corrected the same day.

According to him, the list of countries indebted to the AfDB was prepared on 31st January 2015. But the memo communicating the list of countries to be sanctioned as a result of the indebtedness was published on the 17th February 2015.

It cannot therefore be true that the bank corrected the error the same day, he suggested.

“In any case where is the memo correcting the error,” Akomea demanded, adding, “let’s see the memo that corrected the mistake.”

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