Nana Susubribi Krobea Asante, the director of the United Nations Centre on Transnational Corporations has said Ghana needs to engage the services of experts to scrutinise its international agreements.
He said this would help avoid some of the judgement debts that the country continues to encounter.
Speaking with Kent Mensah on Sunday Night on Asaase Radio, Nana Susubribi Krobea Asante cited how the Chinese government decided to engage experts in handling international agreements when it decided to drive foreign direct investments (FDIs) as a perfect example, adding “eventually they (Chinese) became experts. They are out-negotiating many countries around the world. But I’ve been impressed by the methodical way in which they proceeded to acquire the expertise.”
Ghana paid about GHC1.9 billion in judgment debts over the last two decades, a comprehensive review by the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), an independent social accountability entity, has shown.
The CSJ’s review of the payments from 2000 to 2019 showed that about GHC1.4 billion of the judgment debt paid over the period arose from alleged contractual breaches by government and its agencies.
Additionally, GHC479 million of the judgment debts resulted from compensation on land acquisition by the state, while statutory breaches accounted for GHC29.9 million.
In the report, the CSJ noted that this figure is equivalent to 135% of new multilateral loans contracted by the government in 2019.
The reasons for the judgement debts ranged from contractual breaches to the government’s failure to promptly pay compensations for its compulsory land acquisitions, as well as statutory breaches committed by public officials in the course of their official duties.
But Nana Susubribi Krobea Asante believes some of these judgement debts could be avoided if the government gathered a task force of experts to handle the various international agreements.
“I have been trying hard to tell our people here that, these are very complex arrangements…sometimes you hear that our agreements are not working well. It’s all because we have not gathered a task force of experts to handle this … I’m emphasising this because I think this is what Ghana needs,” he said.