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Opinions of Monday, 14 May 2007

Columnist: Amankwah, Nana Kofi

I will Defend JAK on Remittance Figures

The Chronicle article dated Tuesday 8th May 2007, consultants JAK disagree on remittance figures; this report from the so called two World Bank consultants were false and lies. These are only lies, lies, lies and more lies. I challenge the consultants to prove their “in-depth” sources to support the findings of this report from Ghana statistic services. The accuracy of their report should be questioned by every Ghanaian on this issue. It is amusing how people can fabricate stories.

The population of Ghanaians in South and North America and Asia alone is estimated at 1.3 million. Out of these populations in a range 1.1 millions sent some monies to their relatives yearly or on a monthly basis. They don’t just transfer one dollar, based on these numbers alone, how much will be their remittances into Ghana’s economy. According to governments’ data, Ghanaians outside the country are over 2.5 million; Let’s assume about five hundred thousand visit Ghana every year, with two thousand dollars as their pocket money this simple of statistic alone is one billion dollars from Ghanaians abroad to Ghana’s economy. How in the world could they say Ghanaians abroad remitted to Ghana an amount of $253 million? Kufuor is hundred percent right to dispute their findings, Ghanaians who visited Ghana alone every year are more than eight hundred thousand a year. Some go twice a year, and nobody visits Ghana with only two thousand dollars in his pockets. These fellows from the World Bank should realize that they make up this figure to deceive Ghanaians. The fact is, a friend of mine who is a chief executive for one of the financial company’s agency that represents Ghana Commercial Bank, where Ghanaians abroad made some of their transfers to Ghana. According to his records, in a bad week they transfer between 220,000 thousand to 300,000 thousand dollars. This is just 0.2% fraction of area where their offices are. The area where there are many African market shops, some Ghanaians do other transfers within the same area where his office is. This is just a small fraction in New York City. How did these consultants know the number of other commercial bank agencies they have in New York State and other States across United States? What do they also know about Europe, Canada and many other places across the world where Ghanaians made their transfers? Common sense tells us even commercial banks alone remittances from Ghanaians abroad is over 1.3 billion dollars. What of other individuals who have some private accounts in Barclys bank and other banks in Ghana where they deposit funds on monthly basis. How these consultants were able to come up with these fictitious figures. The most astonished in their findings is how they came up with figures on domestic remittances. They indicate that according to the G.S.S, domestic remittances mostly from cities, towns, and village in Ghana amounted to $270 million, compared to $ 253 million from Ghanaians abroad. The point is where did these people got their foreign currency from? These consultants did not realize that Ghanaian population in Europe amounted to 1.2 million, the majority sent monies home on monthly basis. How do these consultants come up with these figures to discourage Ghanaians from sending monies home to support their country? The finding of facts and conclusions to their reports are an insult to Ghanaian abroad contribution to our nation’s economy!

The estimates of a correct data will be more than 3 billions dollars a year and other miscellaneous amount that are not accountable for will be over 1.4 billion a year. Ghanaian should be angry with this report. These individuals wanted to tell the whole world that our remittance and the nation’s income will be about 2 .6 billion dollars a year. This is an insult. Even New York City public school education budget is 49.7 billion a year. A nation like Ghana with 2.5 million citizens out side could not send the amount of 4 billion dollars a year. I have written many articles about Ghanaians remittances to Ghana’s economy. If they want further information they should contact me and stop writing nonsense about remittances. These individuals from Ghana Statistic Service should realize that if not Ghanaians abroad high level of remittance resource utilization has sustained the inflations. The currency of our nation could not sustain the pressures of inflation to be moderate for the economic growth as the country enjoyed



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