Fix depreciating Cedi urgently instead of securing new loans – Ato Forson to government

The Minority Leader, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson has criticised President Akufo-Addo for the emergency parliamentary session which was convened by the Majority caucus on Friday, May 17.

He argued that there was no genuine emergency warranting the recall of Parliament to approve a $150 million loan from the World Bank.

In his address at the start of the parliamentary sitting, Dr Forson, who previously served as a Deputy Finance Minister, stated that the approval of the loan was unnecessary.

He highlighted that the government had already misused funds from the first phase of the loan that had been approved earlier.

Dr Forson emphasised that the primary concern for the Akufo-Addo administration should be the alarming depreciation of the Ghanaian Cedi.

The Minority Leader pointed out that the rapid decline in the value of the local currency is causing severe economic challenges, including the collapse of businesses and rising unemployment.

The Minority Leader expressed his concern over the continuous devaluation of the Cedi, which he said is driving up the cost of goods and services across the country.

This, according to him, is putting immense pressure on ordinary Ghanaians and worsening their living conditions.

He urged the government to focus on stabilizing the Cedi rather than seeking additional loans for what he termed as consumption.

Dr Forson stressed the need for the administration to prioritise economic stability and the well-being of its citizens.

The Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam lawmaker reiterated that addressing the free fall of the Cedi should be the government’s most urgent task.

He warned that failure to do so would continue to exacerbate economic hardships and undermine the nation’s financial health.

In conclusion, Dr Forson called on the government to reassess its priorities and take decisive action to stabilise the economy, rather than accumulating more debt.

He urged a shift in focus from borrowing to implementing policies that would strengthen the local currency and support sustainable economic growth.

“How is the approval of a US$150 million loan an urgent issue, when US$200 million for phase one approved by this House has been misapplied and not accounted for?”

“How is it an urgent matter for Parliament to be summoned from recess to approve a-US$150 million loan agreement at a time that this government is granting questionable US$450 million tax waiver?”

“Therefore, we want to make the point clear that there is no urgent matter before the House to warrant this recall.”

“Rt. Hon. Speaker, the urgent matter facing the people of Ghana, particularly businesses, traders and households is the free fall of the Cedi. This is a matter that concerns everyone. The depreciation of the Cedi should be an urgent issue for all of us,” he said.
Meanwhile, Parliament has approved the loan facility of $150 million to fund the ongoing Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated Development (GARID) project. The World Bank loan will address issues of flooding in the capital.

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin then took a voice vote, but following stern resistance from the Minority, the Speaker decided to carry out a head count on the motion. Following a headcount vote, the Majority outnumbered the Minority, which led to the approval of the loan.

Parliament reconvened on Friday, May 17, for an emergency sitting. The recall follows a petition from the Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, requesting the session to address outstanding government business.

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