Business News of Wednesday, 13 December 2017
Mr Yaw Osafo-Marfo, the Senior Minister, has said that over 50 per cent of loans and grants given to Ghana have not been spent for various reasons.
“While some institutions are looking for money to carry out certain programmes and projects, there are money which have come from various development partners, some grants (grant meaning that we are not to pay back) and for one reason or the other we are not able to use this money efficiently and effectively,” he said.
Mr Osafo-Marfo made this known on Wednesday in Accra at the Stakeholders’ Validation Workshop on the Draft National Public Sector Reform Strategy (NPSRS), 2018-2023; held under the theme: “Delivering for Citizens and Private Sector”.
He said: “a committee has just being put together at Cabinet to see how quickly we can push this; because the President did not understand. So on the 19th of December, our last Cabinet meeting we are going to look at what is holding these monies.
“Sometimes it is the counterpart money from the Ministry of Finance, because when they give you money to spend, there is a component that the Government should contribute for the expenditure.
“And in a budget administration, I always say that that should be your first call. You must put that money before you look everything. Because we say in Twi “Ye de nam, na eyi nam”. Put down 10 and you get 50. You should quickly put down the 10. Am I right? So that you have access to bigger money spend.”
He said: “So if these are the problems then we really need to provide the relevant counterpart funding to have access to bigger moneys to spend. Because we need to really move this economy and move it quickly to generate employment for ourselves.
He said efficiency of the public sector was crucial; stating that “And I think, we should all look at it. Everybody has a part to play.”
Mr Osafo-Marfo also noted that while waiting for the Validation Workshop Meeting to start, a very senior international member of the cocoa industry, informed him (the Senior Minister) that he was in Ghana because his organisation had given the country two million dollars for afforestation project under the carbon emission project but the pace at which it was going was so slowly; adding that they had come to Ghana to push it.
The Senior Minister said: “We want to create employment for our people. Everybody is talking about it. Somebody has given us two million dollars for our forestation.”
He said the international team member added that they had been to Tafo, the Cocoa Research Institute to look at their seedlings facility, and that it was the best in Africa.
Mr Osafo-Marfo said the know how to produce seedlings was in Ghana, which could be replicated across the country.
The reform programme is also one of the structural reform benchmarks of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Extended Credit Facility (EEF) Programme, 2015-2018, aimed at putting the economy on the path to a sustainable growth trajectory.
The aim of such a reform strategy is to reorient the Ghanaian public sector agencies to deliver cutting-edge services to citizens and the business and private sector to lead the job creation agenda on a sustainable basis and also provide the necessary support to the Executive Arm of Government.
Mr Kusi Boafo, the Chief Executive Officer, Public Sector Reform, said moving the nation forward requires very serious reforms.
Professor Eric Oduro Osae, the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research of the Institute of Local Government Studies, said partnership between the public and the private sector would be meaningless if the public sector was not vibrant or repositioned to be able to live out its mandate.
At the event, there were some solidarity messages from the World Bank and the African Development Bank.