The Chairman of the Finance Committee, Hon. Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah, has said there could be no proper time to dig into the Heritage Fund to address the plight of the people than during the coronavirus pandemic which has so far affected 152 Ghanaians and claimed five lives.
This is in sharp contrast to the position of the Minority Caucus who argued that proceeds from the Stabilization Fund should suffice instead of breaking into funds meant for the unborn generations.
Contributing to the statement by the Minister of Finance in Parliament on Monday, March 30, 2020, over the impact of the coronavirus on the Ghanaian economy, Dr. Assibey-Yeboah, said it will not be out of place for government to fall in its Heritage Fund to save the citizenry considering the emergency situation the country now finds itself in as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Mr. Speaker, to return to pre-coronavirus era means we have to make hard choices. I recall the General Secretary of the NDC in 2012 saying that we have to chop the Heritage Fund. If there is any such time where we have to dig our hands into the Heritage Fund, it is now. It will be absurd for Ghanaians to die whilst we hold US$591million in the Heritage Fund. I don’t want to be a Member of Parliament at a time when the House decides not to touch the Heritage Fund and Ghanaians die. This is the time for us to dig our hands into the Heritage Fund”, he noted.
Commenting further, Dr. Assibey-Yeboah said considering the devastating impact of the coronavirus on the global economy, it will take at least two (2) years for affected economies, including Ghana, to recover.
The situation, he stressed is dire considering the impact of coronavirus on jobs, inflation and petroleum receipts, urging all the citizenry to rally behind the government to successfully implement the measures it has put in place to contain the virus, save lives and bring the Ghanaian economy back to life.
“There is going to experience a global recession this year. No country is left out. So, our economy could grow at 2.0% or 1% or even negative. So, these are not times for anybody to be partisan. These are serious times and let me be guided. What is even more worrying is that a recovery will be slow and long. It could take two (2) years to recover. Mr. Speaker, it makes a lot of sense to lower the cap on the cap of the Ghana Stabilization Fund and Minister, I applaud your efforts – we are going to rake in about US$280million by lowering the cap on the Stabilization Fund. Let us support government in this trying moment”, he underscored.