General News Tue, 24 Oct 2000

GDP to Service World Bank IMF Loans

The Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament and MP for Ellembele constituency Freddie Blay has said that almost 51% of the country's Gross Domestic Product is being used by the ruling government (NDC) to service loans that had been contracted from IMF, the World Bank and others.

This was made known after addressing a mammoth rally at Esiama in the Western region to climax the launching of the CPP campaign in the region recently. He subscribed to the assertion that the economy is in crisis "after using our huge percentage of GDP to service loans and the left over could have been used to salvage other sector of the economy, more importantly education.

We now import expatriates, who are paid huge salaries at times, in had currencies." He added that the habit of importing expatriates by the NDC government could have been avoided or curtailed if proper attention had been given to education in this country. He drew the analogy of the late Dr. Kwame Nkrumah's CPP government ; spending 7% of the GDP to fund education, which resulted in the free education that present intellectuals enjoy.

The NDC government, he said, has reduced that figure to only 3% at a time that our population is growing at a faster rate. Freddie Blay cited the university of Tunisia, which accommodates 50,000 students at its campuses as an example.

He said, had it not been for the reduction in percentage of GDP to fund education and mismanagement of the economy the government could have mobilised adequate resources to provide the needed facilities at the nation's tertiary institutions so as to absorb more students to acquire skills to manage the segments of the economy. According to the 2nd deputy Speaker, sensing the harm done to education in our country, which is attracting criticisms, the NDC quickly shed its skin on cost sharing to worsen the plight of Ghanaians.

The MP further hinted that conditions and strings attached to the loans contracted by the government indicate that our economy is under the control of foreigners and expatriates to their advantage, without considering the effects that it has on the populace. Hence the numerous problems bedeviling the various sectors of the economy with education being the worst.

Source: The Independent (Accra)