NPP says Ghana’s stock of arrears GH¢4.6b by end of 2010

Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Old Tafo, on Wednesday said the country’s total stock of arrears by the end of 2010 was about GH¢4.6 billion.

This includes the arrears for 2009 which was GH¢1.4 billion and GH¢3.2 billion for 2010.

Addressing a press conference in Accra in reaction to the 2011 Budget, Dr Akoto-Osei said the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Government inherited a total arrears of GH¢1.1 billion from the NPP in 2008.

He explained that the increase in the arrears for 2010 included arrears on single spine salary structure of between GH¢600 million and GH¢1.1 billion, and new commitments of about GH¢1.0 billion on GetFUND, District Assembly Common Fund, National Health Insurance Scheme and SSNIT pensions.

Dr Akoto-Osei, who is also the NPP Spokesperson on Finance, said the Government had missed most of its targets set to be achieved in 2010 adding that government targeted a real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 6.5 per cent, and attained growth of 5.9 per cent.

He said gross international reserves had increased to about GH¢3.9 billion and about 60 per cent of gross reserves were debt owed to workers and contractors.

Dr Akoto-Osei noted that policies of the NDC Government had increased the burden on the Ghanaian taxpayer and household, with the increases in petroleum prices, utility tariffs, road tolls and user fees for students.

He also touched on other sectors of the economy, including trade and industry, energy, agriculture, education, water resources, works and housing.

On the STX Housing deal, Dr Akoto-Osei said although the contract had been signed Ghanaians were not aware of the source of funding.

He said it was clear the STX deal would be financed from oil revenue because three days after the NDC Parliamentarians voted for the collateralisation in the petroleum revenue management bill, the STX deal was signed.

On the Savanna Accelerated Development Authority (SADA), Dr Akoto-Osei said government promised to make available 200 million dollars annually for 10 years to finance major investments for growth in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions but could not fulfill that promise.

“When in 2010 government could not do anything, the 2011 Budget allocates only GH¢25 million which is woefully inadequate,” he added.

Source: GNA

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