AfDB saga: Bawumia produces memo to prove his case

Economist Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has produced an internal memo of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) to corroborate his earlier assertion on Tuesday that the bank blacklisted Ghana over nonpayment of debts.The internal memo dated February 17, 2015 with reference “Ref: FFCO.4/JA/2015/” listed Ghana as one of five countries blacklisted by the Bank.

The surfacing of the memo follows a statement issued by AfDB Wednesday denying it has blacklisted Ghana. “Our attention has been drawn to a press report that Ghana is under sanctions with the African Development Bank Group (AfDB),” the Bank said on its website adding: “We wish to state that Ghana is current on all its obligations with the AfDB.”

“Accordingly, Ghana is not on the list of countries under sanctions by the AfDB,” the Bank said.

The Bank clarified that it erroneously put Ghana on its sanctions list in February this year but hurriedly effected a correction. “On 18 February 2015, due to an administrative oversight, Ghana was erroneously included in the list of countries under sanctions by the AfDB. However, the error was detected that same day and a corrected list was immediately issued in replacement,” the Bank said.

Dr Bawumia, who is the Running Mate to the main opposition New Patriotic Party’s flagbearer Nana Akufo-Addo said at a lecture Tuesday that the sanctions meant that signature of new AfDB loan agreements, disbursement on all AfDB on-going projects and the granting of new loans have been suspended until the situation is resolved.

The sanction, he claimed, has been in effect since January this year.

“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.

“In this regard, Ghana regrettably joins an exclusive list of nations currently under AfDB sanctions. The other countries are 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” the three-time running mate said during the lecture at the Central University College.

After the AfDB’s clarification, there have been calls from Government circles for Dr Bawumia to apologise for churning out wrong information. But his aide Anthony Karbo told Kweku Obeng Adjei Thursday that his boss will not offer any apologise. He has also accused the AfDB of covering up for the Ghanaian Government. –

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