If Mills Is Unaware Of IMF Loan Limitation; Then He's Not In Charge - Jinapor

Aide to the flagbearer of the opposition New Patriotic Party, Samuel Abudulai Jinapor, has posited that if President John Evans Atta Mills claims he is unaware of any agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that restricts Ghana on the amount of loans it can access in a year, then it goes to confirm the widely held perception that the president is not in charge of his administration. The NPP Minority in Parliament, at a press conference on Tuesday, September 27, addressed by its Spokesperson on Finance, Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, accused the Mills-led NDC administration of failing to take cognizance of an 800 million Dollar-limitation on government borrowing as agreed between the Government of Ghana and the IMF. According to the minority, government is violating Section 18(7) of the Petroleum Revenue Appropriation Law which says that future oil resources cannot be collateralized for a period exceeding 10 years. The Minority therefore says the NDCs decision to borrow $3 billion from the Chinese government violates that agreement. But President Mills raised doubts about the claims by the Minority that the government has breached an agreement with the IMF on borrowing, saying he is unaware of any agreement with the IMF that restricts Ghana on the amount of loans it can access in a year. Speaking to journalists at the airport on his return from the 66th UN General Assembly meeting, President Mills said he could not confirm or deny the existence of such an agreement. “I haven’t spoken to the Minister of Finance, who would be the best person to sign such an agreement, I really don’t know their (Minority) source, so I cannot firm, or even deny….if there was any such development, it would have been brought to my knowledge,” he said. However, contributing to discussions on Asempa FM’s Ekosii sen political program, Abu Jinapor posited that either the president is not in charge or trying to put a spin on reality on the ground. “The president is almost confirming the widely held perception that the president is not in charge of his government and is not in charge of the happenings within his government or perhaps it is rather the president who is putting a spin on what indeed is the reality on the ground,” he said. Abu Jinapor further disclosed that the World Bank, in a letter dated September 8, 2011, to the Finance Minister Dr. Kwabena Duffour, expressed concerns about the acquisition of the $3billion loan facility, quite contrary to claims by the president that the World Bank supports the loan. He pointed out that whiles in principle, the NPP supports government's intention to acquire loans for infrastructural development, what is worrying are the conditions attached to some of these loans, adding that the NPP is not anti-development. According to him, after the erstwhile Kufuor led NPP government weaned itself off the IMF and the World Bank, the Mills’ administration is rather doing the reverse. He accused the NDC of playing to the gallery and always spewing forth propaganda with everything governance. Abu Jinapor implored the NDC to give ear to the numerous concerns raised by the NPP and civil society concerning the accessing of the $3billion Chinese loan. "I believe it is about time that government takes a break and reflect on the concerns being raised by the NPP...Government should patiently listen when civil society groups or the NPP raise concern about some of the decision they intend taking...recent happenings and the failures of the NDC government to fulfill its promises have proven that concerns raised by the NPP are legitimate,” he said.