Finance Ministry’s claims on financial implications on anti-LGBTQI+ lacks global evidence – Prof Bokpin

Prof Bokpin

Professor Godfred Bokpin, an Economist, has rejected the Ministry of Finance’s analysis on the financial implications of the passage of the anti-LGBTQI+ Bill by Parliament.

He said the Ministry’s advice to the President on the financial implications of the recently passed anti-LGBTQI+ Bill by Parliament lacked global evidence and only sought to “put fear in the President”.

The Finance Ministry, in a statement to the President following the passage of the anti-LGBTQI+ Bill by Parliament, warned that the country stood to lose some $3.8billion in World Bank support should he (President Akufo-Addo) assent to the bill.

Speaking on Accra-based television station, TV3’s Saturday’s programme, “The Key Points” monitored by the Ghana News Agency (GNA), Prof Bokpin rejected the Ministry’s assertion, describing it as “narrow”.

He noted that, just like with the enactment of every law, the passage of the anti-LGBTQI+ Bill would have monetary implications on the country.

However, he explained that the Ministry’s explanation that the country would lose $3.8 billion budgetary support from the World Bank was not supported by any global evidence.

“If you examine the statement from the Ministry of Finance, you could see that it wasn’t professional, and it was too narrow-minded,” he said, adding that “I believe that if they had done their research and analysis very well, they would have advised the President  based on available evidence at the global and then continental level in terms of the dynamics, rather than perhaps, taking this narrow view.”

Prof Bokpin also indicated that the statement exposed the Ministry of not doing extensive research and analysis on the matter before issuing the advice to the President, saying such act was “not professional”.

Globally, he noted that there were no evidence to show that the more than 60 countries, which were members of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or the World Bank, and had criminalised homosexuality had lost support from the institutions.

“I mean, the issue of homosexuality has been there long ago and even where they have lifted the ramifications, the evidence on the ground does not support the position of the Ministry of Finance, and that is why one would be wondering why the Ministry of Finance would seek to put that fear in the President and Ghanaians,” he said.

Prof Bokpin added that: “There are over 60 countries of the IMF and the World Bank that have criminalised homosexuality. For decades, the evidence on the ground is that the IMF and the World Bank have not stopped doing business with them.”

Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Member of Parliament for North Tongu, on the same programme, questioned the rationale behind the Finance Ministry’s linkage of the Bill to financial gains at the detriment of “Ghanaian values”.

He also indicated that some comments by the international community particularly diplomats, on the recently passed Bill amounted to interference in the affairs of their host country, and breach of international diplomatic laws.

He, therefore, asked them to respect the laws and values of Ghana and refrain from such commentaries to ensure peaceful coexistence between them and their host country.

Parliament on February 28, 2024, passed the Promotion of Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill (anti-LGBTQ bill) after the third reading.

The Bill, among other things, sought to prohibit lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ+) and related activities in the country.

It also places a jail term of up to five years on convicts.

Source: GNA

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