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Politics Tue, 31 Mar 2015

IMF/AFDB brouhaha dents Bawumia's credibility

The credibility of Dr. Mahmudu Bawumia has taken a further nose-dive following new evidence disproving two major allegations he made involving Government’s relationship with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the African Development Bank (AfDB).

Dr. Bawumia- an economist and vice Presidential candidate of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP)- last week alleged that IMF and its expected benefits may not materialize because the Government of Ghana had fed the IMF with cooked economic figures.

However, the Republic newspaper can confirm that after thoroughly assessing Ghana’s proposition, the IMF has expressed satisfaction with the figures presented to it and has set an April 4, 2015 date to officially announce its US$940 million bailout to Ghana.

Meanwhile, authentic documents from the AfDB available to this paper indicates that allegations about Ghana’s strained relationship with the AfDB as put up by Dr. Bawumia was a deliberated effort to misinform the public.

During his public lecture at the Central University College (CUC) at the invitation of the institution for its periodic ‘Distinguished Guests’ series, Dr. Bawumiah controversially whipped up public sentiments by quoting an alleged AfDB Memo he sighted ranking Ghana among run-down economies such as Zimbabwe, Djibouti, Somalia and Sudan, as defaulting on AfDB debt repayment.

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The AfDB last week, swiftly responded to Dr. Bawumia’s allegations saying the Memo he claimed he sighted was one that was fraught with administrative errors that inadvertently included Ghana in the list of defaulter.

“On 18 February 2015, due to an administrative oversight, Ghana was erroneously included in the list of countries under sanctions by the AfDB. However, the error was detected that same day and a corrected list was immediately issued in replacement,” a statement issued by AfDB last week read.

Dr. Bawumia and his associates in the NPP are brandishing a letter allegedly written to the Director of the Debt Management of the Ministry of Finance on February 18, 2015, notifying Ghana of its sanctions, following its failure to meet its debt obligations.

The February 18th letter gleefully being brandished by Dr. Bawumia and friends within the NPP have been clarified by the AfDB as part of the effects of the administrative error.

The Republic newspaper can confirm that that letter was sent to the Ministry of Finance approximately twenty-eight days after Ghana had honoured its obligations to the AfDB.

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Indeed, the Finance Ministry has confirmed that AfDB mistakenly sent the 18th of February notification and that upon receipt of this notification, the AfDB’s attention was drawn to the fact that Ghana was not in arrears having paid up its bills well in advance.

The AfDB realizing their error a few hours after, sent correspondence indicating that Ghana’s name has been removed from the list on account of an update of their records which showed Ghana in good standing with the bank.

To re-emphasize the error, a memo 18th February, 2015 and signed by the AfDB Secretary General Cecelia Akintomide in correspondence to the AfDB Board and President, disclosed that the only countries in arrears as of 31st January, 2015 were Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan and Zimbabwe.

Also, on March 13, 2015, A. Odukomaiya, the Director of FFCO of AfDB sent another memo to the directors of the bank, updating them on the countries under official sanctions for loan defaults, the countries include Somalia, Zimbabwe, Djibouti and Sudan, nowhere was Ghana on the list but Dr. Bawumia conveniently quoted the erroneous February 18, 2015 memo covering the mistake of Ghana’s inclusion when he delivered his public lecture at the CUC on March 24, 2015.

Official documents available with this paper shows evidence of bank transfers made from the Ghana government to the AfDB, with correspondence indicating strict adherence to debt repayment schedule by Ghana.

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“The only thing left for him [Dr. Bawumia] to do now is to swallow his pride and apologize to the institutions involve publicly,” a reliable source at the Ministry of Finance who would rather remain anonymous told the Republic newspaper.

Dr. Bawumia, a former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana-turned politician, has been criticized for conveniently ‘Cherry-picking’ economic analysis to misinform the public and to give the National Democratic Congress (NDC) a bad name in the guise of economic analysis.

This is not the first time he is facing public bashing for his misinformation, he has often been condemned for virtually turning every academic and economic presentations into a political platform where he always presents a saintly picture of the erstwhile NPP administration in comparison to the current National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration.

Source: The Republic