DDEP: Suspend unnecessary projects, shrink government – Togbe Afede XIV

Togbe Afede Angry Face Wa.png Togbe Afede XIV, Paramount Chief, Asogli Traditional area

Fri, 27 Jan 2023 Source: classfmonline.com

The Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State, Togbe Afede XIV, has said the government of Ghana should first look at cutting down its expenditure and plugging financial loopholes to save the country money before extending the burden of the current economic crisis onto individual bondholders through a haircut in the domestic debt exchange programme.

Togbe Afede made the suggestion when the Individual Bondholders Forum paid a courtesy call on him on Thursday, January 26, 2023, to rally support against the government’s inclusion of individual bondholders in the debt exchange programme.

The Forum, led by Mr. Senyo Hosi, has tabled some proposals before the government through which the country could save GH¢83.5 billion.

Togbe Afede believes the government must first clean house before touching any individual’s bond proceeds.

"What expenditures can we cut out? Maybe, new and not-very-essential capital projects. What can we suspend? Ongoing, maybe unnecessary capital projects", the traditional leader noted, as well as turning attention to the "size of government, payments to individuals, ex gratia, all kinds of allowances, monies that we spend on travels, et cetera". 

"There is so much room, I believe, for cutting expenditure,"  he stressed, adding: "And that is where, I think, we should be looking at first of all."

"If one goes by the estimates that have been put out there with regard to how much the nation loses to corruption annually, it suggests that there is room for trimming down government expenditure,"  Togbe Afede stressed.

Mr. Hosi, during the call, told the chief: "Togbe, the matter is an eye-red matter, and, for someone who has led the capital market and being one of the players who birthed the capital market—besides your royal place as the Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State—you are a pioneer in this industry."

"I do not want to believe this is your voice and the destination you assured us when your voice was heard back then,"  Mr. Hosi noted.

"So, we are here to petition your office, to petition you, as an individual, and the state of Asogli, not to sit by and watch the lives of 6.5 million people devastated and subjected to shackles of poverty."

"So, our plea here is very simple: the steps being taken by the government are unsustainable and very unnecessary."

The Forum’s proposed money-saving measures include enforcing property taxation and VAT invigilation; recovering funds lost to financial irregularities as identified by the Auditor-General, divesting loss-making, defunct, and troubled 17 state-owned enterprises, privatising selected SOEs to Tier-2 pension funds to drive efficiency and productivity, and reviewing the Free SHS Programme to make it more efficient through effective targeting and allowing parents who can pay to do so, among others.

"The measures proposed above, per the estimation of the IBF, yield net savings of GHC83.5bn", the IBF said in its report, adding: "The above recommendations are competent enough to urgently address the fiscal challenges and enable us to reach the desired 55% debt-to-GDP target proposed to the IMF."

Source: classfmonline.com
Related Articles: