You can’t secure debt forgiveness with extravagant expenses – Ablakwa slams gov’t

The Member of Parliament for the North Tongu Constituency, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has expressed doubts about the government’s ability to secure debt forgiveness from its creditors.

He believes the government’s effort to continue with some projects considered non-essential such as the National Cathedral will thwart any debt forgiveness requests.

The government suspended payments on most of its external debts in December last year as it strives to plug its balance of payments deficit.

According to the Finance Ministry, it will not service debts including its Eurobonds, commercial loans, and most bilateral loans, calling the decision an interim emergency measure.

Reacting to government’s advances toward debt forgiveness requests, the Ranking Member on the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament said the move will not succeed unless the president takes some stringent measures.

“We were declared a Highly-indebted poor country. In less than 20 years after we got debt forgiveness, see where we are now. Are we not ashamed of ourselves?”

“They are not even ashamed to go around seeking debt forgiveness on chartered flights. We are appealing for debt forgiveness but are building a cathedral. If the President does not change his ways, we will not get the debt forgiveness we seek.”