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Business News of Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

US$100m for Coronavirus fight not ready – John Jinapor debunks Ofori-Atta’s claim


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Member of the Finance Committee in Parliament, John Jinapor, has rendered as false claims by the Finance Minister that the $100 million to fight Coronavirus in Ghana was ready.

John Jinapor disclosed that the said amount is yet to be approved by the Finance Committee following a joint memorandum to Parliament by the Ministers for Finance and Health on a proposed US$35 million loan from International Development Administration of the World Bank.

In an interview with Citi News, he explained that, “The claim by the Minister that the US$100 million has been secured and is available is false. A document that I have, joint memorandum to Parliament by Ministers for Finance and Health on a proposed US$35 million loan from International Development Administration of the World Bank to finance the proposed Ghana COVID-19 emergency preparedness and response project is dated 27th March 2020. So, they have just brought us a loan agreement and it was considered by the Finance Committee subsequent to which we may grant approval for government to go to the World Bank and borrow US$35 million in order to be able to raise that US$100 million.”

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in his first address to the nation on the coronavirus pandemic revealed that he had directed the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, to make available the cedi equivalent of US$100 million to enhance Ghana’s preparedness and response to the pandemic.

Ken Ofori-Atta, in his briefing in Parliament on the effects of the global health crisis on Ghana’s economy on March 30, stated that government has been able to secure the US$100million as part of funds to aid the fight against the novel coronavirus.

According to him, his ministry has secured the funding and leveraging to curtail the spread of the virus.

Insisting that the Finance Minister comes clean with Ghanaians, John Jinapor again revealed that there are other sources of loans which are yet to be debated, granted, and approved on the floor of Parliament before the Minister can proceed to the World Bank for the money.

“Another US$65 million is an amount that will be coming from the Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated Development (GARID). This is another loan from the International Development Authority (IDA) of the World Bank. So, all the US$100 million is being borrowed from IDA and Parliament has not even prepared a report, let alone lay it before the floor to be debated, granted approval, for the Minister to proceed to go to the World Bank to collect the money. I think that honesty has to be a key issue,” Jinapor stressed.

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