Cassiel Ato Forson

Minority Spokesperson on Finance Cassiel Ato Forson has asked the government to amend the proposed utilisation of the $3 billion Eurobond proceeds to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

He made this comment at the National Democratic Congress (NDC) COVID-19 Technical Team Media Encounter at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Accra on Tuesday.

The Akufo-Addo-led administration says it is dwelling on financial assistance from donor partners in collating a $100 million allocation to help contain the spread of the virus in the country.

Finance Ministry earlier issued the bond which will hit government’s account in three tranches.

Government intends to use the facility to support infrastructure development, restructuring of the energy sector, and management of liability.

But speaking on the economic implications of COVID-19, Mr Ato Forson suggested that the bond is channeled into beefing up the healthcare sector to contain the global outbreak.

“We humbly appeal to the government to amend the proposed utilization of the $3 billion Eurobond proceeds to make funds available immediately to cater for the COVID-19-related expenses and possible adverse economic shocks that may occur,” the Minority Spokesperson on Finance disclosed.

The NDC also said it is aware of moves by government to secure close to $1 billion from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The party, however, disagrees with the development. They believe the facility if secured, will hit the government’s coffers too late to be used to tackle the rapidly developing pandemic.

“We habour sincere reservations about the wisdom of that cause under the time pressure that we face. We are reliably informed, and the government is indeed aware, that any such facility will not be available to us as a country until the second or the third week of April 2020,” the Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam MP added.

He further explained that the “timeline is constrained by the meeting schedules of the board of directors of the respective organisations, IMF and World Bank.

“The processes involved in receiving the funds even under an emergency approval, our current state of readiness and exponential growth of the plague we are fighting suggests that we cannot wait that long.”