The sources who didn’t want to be named because they are not officially mandated to speak to the press, told ghanabusinessnews.com that the country late last year, delayed in fulfilling its statutory obligations, and when the attention of the Minister of Finance was drawn to it, the matter was quickly resolved.
“The country has statutory obligations towards the Bank. The Minister was probably caught in other things, seeing that the country is overwhelmed by so many economic challenges, and might not have considered paying the debt at that time as a priority, but when his attention was drawn to it, he quickly settled it,” one source said.
“As we speak now, Ghana is not on any sanctions list,” another source told ghanabusinessnews.com.
Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, a former deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana and former running mate of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has said in a public lecture that, Ghana has recently been sanctioned by the AfDB for failing to settled its debt to the Bank.
Delivering the ‘Distinguished Speaker Series Lecture’ at the Central University College March 24, 2015, Dr. Bawumia, who is also a Visiting Professor of Economic Governance at the university, said, “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 on- going projects and the granting of any new loans have been suspended until the situation is rectified.”
According to Dr. Bawumia, the sanctions were effective in January 2015.
Dr. Bawumia also provided a list of countries on the sanctions list. The list contains countries like Somalia, Sudan, Zimbabwe, and Djibouti.
“Ghana’s arrears on its AfDB debt obligations only serves to emphasize the pressure on government cash reserves as well as the poor debt management. You cannot treat external debt obligations in the same way as you treat your obligations to the NHIS, DACF, GETFUND or Road Fund,” he added.
But ghanabusinessnews.com checks at the AfDB found that Ghana is not on the sanctions list.
A source familiar with Ghana’s dealings with the Bank told ghanabusinessnews.com, that there was an incident of late settlement that was resolved within a day on February 18, 2015.
According to the source, the country had apparently paid, but the bank with its large clientele, would always require a proof of settlement from clients to certify the fulfillment of their obligations.
“The issue was detected in the morning, and the Ministry of Finance was contacted, and by the end of the day, all they had to do was to forward the proof of settlement to the Bank, and the matter was resolved,” the source explained.
Ghana received the highest financial support from the AfDB in 2012. In that year the Bank provided Ghana with an amount of $211.6 million, the highest since the Bank began operations in the country in 1973. The supports were in both grants and loans.
The Bank has financed over 105 loans and grants in Ghana valued at approximately $3.755 billion, and the projects funded are within the areas of transport, energy, agriculture, water and sanitation, education, health and multi-sector.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi