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General News of Friday, 16 September 2016

Source: classfmonline.com

Asiedu Nketia fights DKM victims

How can victims of the DKM microfinance scam demand that taxpayers’ money be used to reimburse them when their bad investment decisions had nothing to do with government? General Secretary of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, has wondered.

About 70,000 of such victims in the Brong Ahafo Region have given the government an ultimatum to reimburse their locked-up investments or have itself to blame as far as the December 7 polls are concerned.

A demonstration scheduled for Saturday 17 September by the microfinance victims to put pressure on the government to make the payments has been stopped by the police through a court order. The Brong Ahafo Police Command said it did not have the personnel to provide security for both the demonstrators as well as an event by the NDC to launch its manifesto in the regional capital, Sunyani, on the same day.

Speaking on the issue on Class91.3FM’s Executive Breakfast Show on Friday, Mr Asiedu Nketia said: “… Now those who are complaining, are they saying that when they take their individual investment decisions and things go wrong, we in government should take the taxpayers’ money … – which should have been used for road [construction], electricity provision, water, schools, health centres – we should divert that money and go and pay them because they took wrong investment decisions? Is this what they want to tell us?

“Or somehow they believe that they can fool Ghanaians into believing that when they say government should pay, it is not our tax money that the government is going to use to pay? But ask them: apart from your [taxpayers] money that we are implementing projects with, when you say government money, where is government money going to come from?

“So we don’t have any problem. If Ghanaians think that it is legitimate for us to apply the money which we are collecting to go and pay individual Ghanaians who have made wrong investment decisions, we’ll be too happy to proceed to do so. But they shouldn’t be deceiving people. From the beginning they said that the company belonged to the president and the wife so that is why they are calling on the president and the wife to pay – that lie has been exposed now … so they are moving to the next step – their MPs went to parliament to argue that the nation should consider this as a disaster and for which reason we should apply government money to do it. We don’t make disaster laws, it is parliament that makes those laws,” the former legislator told Prince Minkah.

He said: “When parliament decides that: ‘Well, whenever any citizen invests something wrongly, when they have profits they shouldn’t pay to government but when they run into a problem, we should use the taxpayers’ money to pay, if that is the law we’ll implement it.”

Mr Asiedu Nketia said he doubts seasoned former government officials in the NPP would offer such counsel to the party to be pushing that line. “… They have well-known people who know how state affairs are run. You have people like Osafo Marfo [former Minister of Finance]; other well-seasoned people are inside there. I’m not sure Osafo Marfo will come out advocating that we should use taxpayers’ money to go and reimburse people who have made their private investment decisions which have gone wrong.”