To fulfill his promise of making Accra the cleanest city in Africa, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s government has borrowed $48 million for sanitation purposes.
The amount which was approved by parliament on the night of Wednesday, 2 August is expected to be used for the Greater Accra Sustainable Sanitation and Livelihoods Improvement Project.
Justifying the borrowing, Deputy Finance Minister, Abena Osei Asare said the benefit far outweighs the cost.
She told parliament: “Mr Speaker, there is no country in this world that does not borrow. What we were speaking against was the reckless borrowing by the previous government. We are not against borrowing. We will only borrow for projects that can pay for itself or we borrow for a social project where the benefit far outweighs the cost – like this one. This is to improve sanitation in Greater Accra. Year-on-year, there is outbreak of cholera and we want to change some of these things; that is why we feel, for this loan, the social benefit will far outweigh the cost. We value human life, so we feel we should improve sanitation in Greater Accra.”
But Ho Central MP Benjamin Kpodo, disagreed. He said: “Mr Speaker, I have noticed that our honourable Deputy Minister is leading us in the wrong direction. If she is saying that the previous government has borrowed excessively and recklessly and she has come to inherit it, what she should do to bring the debt down is to pay back but she is rather borrowing.”
Other Minority MPs also criticised the government’s penchant for borrowing even though they lauded the president’s ambition to leave behind a clean city at the end of his term of office.