General News of 2014-05-17

Publish Senchi forum cost – Franklin Cudjoe

A participant at the just ended National Economic Forum held at Senchi in the Eastern Region, Franklin Cudjoe, is advising government to publish the total cost of the forum to end inaccurate speculations.

He denied media reports that there was exorbitant spending at the forum.

According to Mr. Cudjoe, who is President of policy think tank, IMANI Ghana, his checks show that $200 was spent on each participant rather than the speculated $3,000.

There has been a raging debate about the cost of the National Economic Forum held last week to deliberate on ways and means to get the country’s economy back on track.

The participants included former Governors of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), former Finance Ministers, government officials, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), political parties excluding the New Patriotic Party (NPP), heads of institutions and some policy think-tanks.

Some have argued that government could have chosen a less costly venue for the forum considering the current economic challenges.

But speaking on Citi FM’s news and current affairs programme, The Big Issue, the IMANI Ghana boss said government must as a matter of urgency, come out with cost of the forum.

He noted that 81 participants were resident at Senchi “and the top line budget was about $200 per person including, food. And the food was great.”

Mr. Cudjoe revealed he has traveled to 47 countries and counting, “but this Senchi is excellent and I would have charged $400 per person instead of the $200 including food.”

He questioned why spokespersons of the government have, as at now, not made public, the detailed information of the cost of the forum despite the widely speculated cost in the media.

The information, he said, if disclosed to the public will put to rest “some of the negative comments.”

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