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General News of Monday, 20 November 2000

Source: GNA

Ghana's external debt is 7 billion dollars - Mensah-Bonsu

Mr. Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, NPP Member of Parliament for Old Tafo/Sumame, on Thursday alleged that one fifth of every foreign loan contracted by the government goes into private pockets.

He said Ghana's external debt, which stood at 800 million dollars at the time of the 31st December 1982 revolution, now stands at 7 billion dollars.

This is contrary to the pledge by President Rawlings in 1982, that he was going to wipe out the debt, Mr Mensah-Bonsu told a rally at Adum in the Subin constituency in Kumasi.

He expressed concern about the amount of money spent on fuel by President Rawlings, Vice President Professor Atta Mills and their large campaign team and said it could be channelled into solving some of the problems facing the country.

An NPP government, he said would pay cocoa farmers 65 per cent of the world market price and keep 10 per cent of the remaining amount in a pension scheme for them.

Dr Kwame Addo-Kufuor, MP for Manhyia and Minority Spokesman for Health, said an NPP government would abolish overseas treatment for Ministers and other top officials explaining that a system would be worked out to replace it.

He said when voted into power, the NPP would create jobs for the youth by reactivating all abandoned factories and ensure that value is added to gold before export.