Bia East MP, Richard Acheampong

A member of the Finance Committee in Parliament, Richard Acheampong, has accused the Majority caucus of exploiting the absence of members of the Minority to approve some loans.

The Bia East Member of Parliament (MP) stated that the Majority caucus waited for his side to go for campaigns for the upcoming elections before parliament was recalled for loan approval.

“I’m stating for the records that the loans that were approved on Tuesday in parliament are loans that have been referred to the finance committee and agreed upon already. But due to some disagreements, the loans were not brought to the floor for a decision to be made.

“Also because the NPP did not have the numbers they waited for us to go for our campaigns towards the upcoming primaries next week and did the recall,” he said.

The lawmaker stated the loans were approved by the Finance Committee because the Minority was outnumbered by the Majority caucus.

“The committee report states that it was a majority decision meaning that the minority caucus does not support government’s decision to take such loans in these hard economic times and Ghana’s huge debt.

“There are 13 members of the Majority caucus and 12 members from the minority on the finance committee. The 13 gave government the green light to go for the loans and the 12 disagreed. That’s why the committee reported to the House that it’s a majority decision and not a consensus. If we all agreed the report would have informed that by consensus the committee has recommended for the approval of its report,” he explained on Accra-based Neat FM.

Mr Acheampong indicated that aside from Ghana’s huge debt, his side disapproved of the loans due to unresolved issues relating to government’s mismanagement of Covid-19 funds and diversions of funds in the Auditor General’s reports.

“We have not resolved the issues regarding the Covid-19 expenditure and the diffractions in the Auditor-Generals report. If you could not give a proper account of the money you were given, what is the guarantee that you will use the money for its intended purpose?”

“Covid is no longer as serious as it was locally and globally, so how do you go for a loan in the name of Covid when indirectly you want forex for your forex reserves because you have depleted it all? Government is not being honest with Ghanaians knowing very well that there is no emergency Covid situation for us to handle.”

Parliament on Tuesday, May 2, 2023, approved seven separate loan agreements totaling $780 million for several interventions.

Ghana’s debt stock is hovering around 600 billion cedis and has been said to be key in the country’s current economic crisis.

But to Minority Leader, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, the number of loan agreements that keep coming to the House is simply not worthy of approvals and is just avoidable.

Former Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, also suggested there should be an immediate introduction of a debt ceiling to curb government’s excessive borrowing.