The Ningo-Prampram Member of Parliament, Sam Nartey George has argued that the economic consequences that Ghana may face as a result of passing the Anti-LGBT bill will be negligible.
According to him, the country has been faring well with very little grants from international organisations; thus in the event they are withdrawn, the country is well situated to weather the storm.
His comments were in reaction to a CDD-Ghana report which suggested that Ghana could lose up to 6% of its annual budget funding should the Anti-LGBT bill pass.
Presenting the findings of the Centre’s study on Tuesday in Accra, Executive Director of ISODEC, Bernard Anaba, hinted that Ghana is likely to face economic and diplomatic pressure if the Bill is passed.
“By this Bill, we have added economic conditionality on ourselves [as a country] when we go out to seek support. Ghana’s budget regularly relies on grants of about 4 to 6 per cent each year from donor partners who are mostly against this Bill as we know.”
“This could result in the delays and reduction in this budgetary support. I remember there was a year when the Finance Minister complained that the budget did not work well because these funds [from donors] were delayed. So now, there is a more reason why it even delays more; you can imagine the economic impact because four to six per cent of your budget is huge.”
Mr Anaba added that “Ghana’s relatively weaker economic position makes it more vulnerable to any rebuke of the EU and other western governments that do not support this bill.”
However, Sam George noted that such a thing may be inconsequential to Ghana’s economic situation.
He said, “listening to Mr. Anaba on this, he comes across as a doomsday prophet on this, with the greatest of respect. He makes it sound as though once we pass this, this is the end of Ghana.
“But look and Theo made a point that you’re looking at the cost of us having to absorb things that hitherto were funded by these international organisations, and that is even with the proviso that they’ll withdraw all aid. That in itself is not a certainty.”
He added that Civil Society Organisations like the CDD-Ghana and the ISODEC who carried out the research should be more concerned about advising government on reducing wastage and profligate expenditure.
“But even for the purposes of this conversation, let’s even assume that they withdraw all aid. I think that civil society players like Mr. Anaba and co. and CDD should be focusing more on how government will be more prudent in the use of revenue from our natural resources, the wastage in our system.
“If we actually put the waste in our system, if we cut 50% not even totally, just 50%of the waste in our system we’ll not need the under $1billion worth of aid and grant that we got in 2019. In fact, the Auditor-General points that in 2020 we lost ₵12billion that is $2billion.
“So that is why I said even if we saved half of that 12 billion which is 6billion, Ghana could have run its budget with zero aid from the international organisations,” he said.