Fellow in charge of Finance and Economy Pillar at the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), Dr Theresa Blankson, says judgement debts cannot be avoided in the business of governments.
According to her, while judgment debts are inevitable in any working government, the magnitude and persistence of such judgement debts can be a cause for alarm.
“Judgement debt can be expected in the business of government, we cannot avoid that. But I think it’s the volume or the magnitude that we need to be concerned about and also the persistence with which we continue to deal with colossal sums like these huge numbers that are being churned out,” she said.
Her statement follows JoyNews’ investigation which discovered that since 2017 government has paid judgement debts totaling ¢125 million.
The Highest Judgment debt was paid in 2018. An amount of 30.9 million cedis was paid to Jubilee Tractors and Assembly Plant Limited.
This arose from a case filed against the National Security Council. In 2017, an amount of 29.5 million cedis was paid to NDK Financial Services.
A close comparison of the various years shows that the highest amount paid since the NPP took over government was in 2017 when payments totalled ¢54 million.
A 2021 research published by the Centre for Social Justice shows that this ¢125 million figure comes nowhere near the whopping ¢356.6 million debt paid by the NDC administration in 2010.
Speaking on JoyNews’ Newsfile on Saturday, Dr Blankson noted that taking into consideration the infrastructural deficiency this country suffers, it poses a matter of great worry if such huge sums are being churned out year after year to pay for judgement debts.
“And when you think about it within the context of the enormous developmental challenges that the economy faces, particularly when you talk about healthcare, when you talk about education where we have still in this day and age pupils being taught under trees, school buildings in bad shape, and also when you think about even our health facilities which are not well adequately strengthened to take care of the population.
“Within that framework, considering also the high youth unemployment rate that we have, high levels of poverty, I think it makes sense to really think about the numbers that have been churned out. So I think it is a worrying trend and my expectation after we did our analysis for the 2000-2019 period was that this was going to be nipped in the bud but we’re still hearing the story,” she said.
So far, ¢2.8 million in judgment debt has been paid by government in the year 2022.