August 30, 2022

Lost $37M: Ato Forson Unconvinced By Finance Ministry’s Explanation

The Ranking Member on Parliament’s Finance Committee, Cassiel Ato Forson has expressed scepticism about the explanation given by the Deputy Minister for Finance, John Ampontuah Kumah over some US$37 million shortfall on the US$750 million Afrexim bank loan to Ghana.

Ato Forson raised concerns about the shortfall in a tweet on August 29, 2022, and demanded accountability.

Ampontuah in responding said the 37 million had been set aside for debt servicing, a deal he said Parliament had approved together with the loan.

“The Government has received fully the total amount of USD750.0 million today Monday 29th August 2022 from Afrexim as was approved by Parliament. Government also as part of the transaction has created an Escrow Account for debt service for the facility.

“This arrangement is not new as the Ministry of Finance have from time to time created specialised Escrow accounts for specific purposes. In this particular transaction, an amount of USD37.0 million from the facility has been set-aside for debt service obligations”, Ampontuah said.

But Ato Forson doubts.

According to him, he has “perused again the $750m agreements as approved by Parliament”.

He noted that the agreement did not oblige the government of Ghana in any way to set up an escrow account as stated by Ampotuah.

Ato Forson tweeted, “Folks, I have perused again the $750m agreements as approved by Parliament. No where in the agreement is the GOG obligated to set up an escrow account and to pay $37m for the purpose of debt service that will be starting in 3yrs time. @johnkumah_Esq, please come again!”.

Source: Fuseini

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