General News of 2014-05-12

NPP’s reason for boycott flimsy – Gov’t

Government says the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) reason for boycotting the upcoming National Economic Forum is flimsy and painful.

“…what is even more painful is the reason that they gave for boycotting it,” said a Deputy Information and Media Relations Minister, Felix Kwakye-Ofosu.

The Chairman of the NPP, Paul Afoko, on Monday, officially announced the decision by the party to boycott the National Economic Forum.

Explaining the reasons for the boycott, Mr. Afoko stated that government did not give ample time for participants to adequately prepare for the forum; thus no meaningful discussion can take place.

He also described the forum as a PR gimmick calculated to keep the people of Ghana in the dark about the real state of the economy.

Mr. Afoko also mentioned that the party has been informed that government has already adopted a set of reforms scheduled to take place between 2014 and 2017, which has been communicated in a policy document to the IMF.

He, therefore, questioned the rationale for convening a National Economic Forum when government has already adopted a set of policies and has already submitted proposals to the IMF.

In response, however, Mr. Kwakye-Ofosu pointed out that a party which claims it is committed to the development of the nation “will not make such an excuse.”

He disclosed that all other invited organizations and personalities have confirmed their participation although they all received their letters the same time as the NPP.

The Deputy Minister stated if the NPP’s boycott is based on the purported policy document submitted to the IMF on Ghana’s economy, “then they would have done so on the basis of speculation and not fact".

According to him, it is a normal practice for member countries to update the IMF on a regular basis on processes being put in place to resolve economic issues.

He maintained that it is imperative for government to build a national consensus on key policy decisions hence, the organization of the National Economic Forum.

Mr. Kwakye-Ofosu recalled that during the Kufuor administration, a similar forum was organized and all stakeholders made the effort to attend “and so it is surprising that when other governments come to do the same thing, the NPP will be making these excuses.”

The National Economic Forum is aimed at bringing together all stakeholders to deliberate and proffer solutions to tackle the country’s economic difficulties.

It is slated for Tuesday, May 13 to Friday, May 16 at Akosombo in the Eastern Region.