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Threat to lose funds from the IMF over anti-gay bill hollow, empty – Appiah-kubi

 

Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament Kwame Andy Appiah-Kubi has described as hollow and empty, threats to cease provision of funds by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) if the anti-gay bill is assented by President Akufo-Addo. 

He says the arrangement that exists between Ghana and the IMF is a contractual agreement that does not have the anti-gay bill as part of the conditions.

Speaking on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday, March 9 the lawmaker for Asante Akim North said “That relationship is contractual, we have terms of the arrangement within the IMF programme and it did not include our passage of this bill because at the time they were negotiating it was not an issue that was raised then.

“So if IMF says that because we have passed this bill they are not going to respect a contract that is already in motion, they have already disbursed parts of the amount so what will happen to the amount that has been disbursed? Is it the case that they will abrogate the contract at their expense in respect of the payment?

“These are contractual arrangements so we can’t import new provisions into an arrangement that is already into motion. So, that fear of losing grounds in the IMF program is not there, it is unfounded. That is only a threat that is hollow and empty.”

The Ministry of Finance on Monday, March 4 pointed out dreadful implications of the president assenting to the anti-LGBTQ+ Bill.

In a brief on the implications of assenting to the Bill by President Akufo-Addo, the Ministry of Finance said the country stands to lose huge financial support from the Bretton Woods institutions.

“In total, Ghana is likely to lose US$3.8 billion in World Bank Financing over the next five to six years. For 2024, Ghana will lose US$600 million budget support and US$250 million for the Financial Stability Fund. This will negatively impact Ghana’s foreign exchange reserves and exchange rate stability as these inflows are expected to shore up the country’s reserve position,” part of the brief cited by 3news.com reads.

The Ministry of Finance provided the details as follows:

 

  • The expected US$300 million financing from the First Ghana Resilient Recovery Development Policy Operation (Budget Support) which is currently pending Parliamentary approval might not be disbursed by the Bank when it is approved by Parliament;
  • On-going negotiations on the second Ghana Resilient Recovery Development Policy Operation (DPO) for budget support amounting to US$300 million may be suspended; 
  • On-going negotiations for US$250 million to support the Ghana Financial Stability Fund may be suspended; 
  • Disbursement of undisbursed amounts totaling US$2.1 billion for ongoing projects will be suspended; and
  • Preparation of pipeline projects and declaration of effectiveness for two projects totaling US$900million may be suspended.   

The Ministry cautioned that, “The potential loss of these financial resources will create a financing gap in the 2024 budget that the government must address through additional domestic revenue mobilisation and a significant reduction in expenditure.  Failing this, Government’s ability to achieve the targets in the 2024 Budget will be undermined and the IMF-ECF Programme is likely to be derailed.”

Parliament on February 28 passed the Promotion of Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill.

US State Department spokesperson Matt Miller expressed concerns about the potential consequences of the bill, stating, “So we have made very clear what our opinion is on that law – you can look at my statement yesterday – and we have made that clear in private conversations with the Government of Ghana as well. I don’t think I should get any more specific than that, but if this bill becomes law, it would certainly have a chilling effect on foreign investment and tourism in Ghana”.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo allayed the fears of the diplomatic community that the anti-lgbtqi bill will disturb the good human rights records of the country.

The president assured that ‘no such back-sliding will be contemplated or occasioned’.

In a message to the diplomatic community on Monday, March 4, the president said that the bill has not yet been submitted to him.

“I am aware that last week’s bi-partisan passage by Parliament of the Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, on a Private Member’s motion, has raised considerable anxieties in certain quarters of the diplomatic community and amongst some friends of Ghana that she may be turning her back on her, hitherto, enviable, longstanding record on human rights observance and attachment to the rule of law. I want to assure you that no such back-sliding will be contemplated or occasioned.

“I think it will serve little purpose to go, at this stage, into the details of the origin of this proposed law, which is yet to reach my desk. But, suffice it to say, that I have learnt that, today, a challenge has been mounted at the Supreme Court by a concerned citizen to the constitutionality of the proposed legislation.

“In the circumstances, it would be, as well, for all of us to hold our hands, and await the decision of the Court before any action is taken. The operation of the institutions of the Ghanaian state will determine the future trajectory of the rule of law and human rights compliance in our country,” President Akufo-Addo said.

 

 

 

 

Source: 3news.com

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