The fact that Ghana as a developing country lags behind other countries in the area of infrastructure is without question.
A research conducted by the African Development Bank (AfDB), a major financier of infrastructure on the continent has revealed this. This deficiency is particularly greater in the area of sanitation; 65% coverage for Sub-Saharan countries against a total of 82% for other developing countries as a whole, electricity, 24% against 58% and rural road access 34% against 90%.
It is in this light that governments of Sub-Saharan countries ought to be prudent in the management of their financial resources towards closing the �deficiency gap�.
At an annual growth of 7%, it is impossible to attain the Millennium Development Goals on poverty reduction, as this will require a nearly $22billion for investment in infrastructure on the continent, 40% of which is to be allocated to the transport sector, 25% to energy, 20% to water and the rest to telecommunication. Besides, the continent needs an additional fund of $38billion for operation and maintenance of the investment. Thus, from 2005 to 2015, to enable the continent achieve the Millennium Development Goals for these sectors, the continent should allocate approximately $38billion each year, which is between $32 and $40 per inhabitant, according to the Bank, a situation which raises a major impediment to economic development, competitiveness of countries and improvement of the populations� living conditions.
In Ghana, a nation with such serious infrastructural deficiency, when the news broke out on the payment of illegal and preventable judgment debts, many Ghanaians have developed angst towards NDC Government under Atta-Mills presidency (the self-acclaimed best and unprecedented performing President of Ghana since 1957). This is because the government, unmindful of the huge infrastructural gap in Ghana, decided to pay such gargantuan judgment debt of over $600million to individuals, corporate institutions and their cronies between 2009 and 2010. These payments have no basis in the socio-legal framework of Ghana�s institutions. Ghanaians are yet to be told of such gargantuan judgment debts paid in 2011. The saddest aspect of these criminally-minded payments of these monies is the fact that government officials, including Attorney-Generals, keep on defending this criminality in favour of the criminal beneficiaries.
Intellectually, one fact that is missing is, what projects that the Government could have undertaken to close the infrastructure deficiency gap alluded by the African Development Bank. Under NDC II regime (1996-2000), the state paid $20million to Miss Cotton (US Rice Investor) for no work done under the direct supervision of then Vice President John Evans Atta-Mills. Again, the state submitted fictitious financial report to development partners leading to payment of $36million as fines against Ghana. A judgement debt in disguise. Thus, under President Atta-Mills, we have lost a gargantuan amount of $656million between 1996 � 2000 and 2009 and 2010. If Present Value of $656million is computed at discount rate of 12% per annum, Ghana could have earned substantial returns on investment that can be used to finance projects meant to raise the standard of living of the citizenry.
The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) Report, 2011, depicts several infrastructure projects that have been designed and planned to be executed to close the infrastructure deficiency gap in Ghana. The table below shows some of the projects that government is seeking funding for, from our development partners:
Source: Editorial/Daily Guide
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