Lack of due diligence in awarding contracts cause of judgement debts – Economist

Professor and former Chief Economist at the Bank of Ghana (BoG) under Prime Minister Kofi Abrefa Busia’s government, Dr Assibi O. Abudu, has stated that lack of due diligence on the part of government officials in awarding contracts is what causes judgement debts in the country.

He said the lack of due diligence on the part of government officials who should work in the best interest of the country rather than their parochial and party interest is the cause of massive financial losses to the coffers of the state.

Dr Abudu, who worked as Chief Economist under four successive governments from the K.A. Busia’s administration to the PNDC regime said all agreements that the government is a party to must be looked into by officers at the Attorney General’s office.  He said once Attorney General’s Department is satisfied that a certain agreement be abrogated in the interest of the state, there should be no problem.

For him, what is of outmost importance is that such deals and their abrogation must at all times be to the best interest of the country because according to him, every decision must be judged by the cost and benefit that accrue to the state. That, he said can only be achieved with due diligence.

According to the former economics professor, the best way to avert the perennial judgement debt is to govern the country by a National Development Plan rather than the manifesto approach that seems to serve only one political party and its leader.

“For me as an economist, I am going to look at it like, is this way of arriving at decisions the best for Ghana? Because you see every decision you make has its cost and benefit. Now if the process that leads to this, what do we do to stop this financial obligation coming back on us to make us poor? The way to solve such problems is due diligence in arriving at decisions, in other words, we must look at decisions very carefully not only for the burden imposed on the present generation but on the future generation. The only way to avoid this is to have a National Development Plan but unfortunately there is only one government which has ruled Ghana with a National Development Plan”, Dr Abudu said.

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He said this in an exclusive interview with while commenting on the perennial issue of Judgement Debts in the country, especially the recent one between Ghana and the Ghana Power Generation Company(GPGC) where the state is to  pay $170 million to the company for canceling the Emergency Power Agreement(EPA) made under the erstwhile Mahama administration.

“The details I don’t have and I don’t need to have (GPGC deal), but as long as the legal processes are looked into by the Attorney General and others in the agreement because they are the experts there, found out that there is something wrong with the agreement and also looked at the savings we are going to make by breaking our obligation to that agreement, I have no problem with that at all because they are the experts there.

By Barima Kwabena Yeboah||Ghana