Finance Ministry Ruffles Feathers Over Anti-gay Bill

MPs Furious, But Afenyo-Markin Says He’s Ready To Forfeit Seat If…

The Ministry of Finance, has waded into the ongoing debate, regarding the recent passage of the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values (anti-gay bill) by Ghana’s Parliament.

According to the Ministry, the country will among others, lose a whopping US$3.8 billion in World Bank funding over the next five to six years, as well as derail the ongoing International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout entered into two years ago, in the event that President Akufo-Addo signs the controversial bill into law.

$3.8 billion implications

The Ministry, in a statement yesterday Monday, March 4, 2024,sighted by The Anchor, listed a number of financial challenges the country may incur, if the bill is assented to by the President.

“The expected US$300 million financing from the First Ghana Resilient Recovery Development Policy Operation (Budget Support) which is currently pending Parliamentary approval might not be disbursed by the Bank when it is approved by Parliament;

“On-going negotiations on the Second Ghana Resilient Recovery Development Policy Operation (Budget Support) amounting to US$300 million may be suspended; On-going negotiations for US$250 million to support the Ghana Financial Stability Fund may be suspended;

“Disbursement of undisbursed amounts totaling US$2.1 billion for on-going projects will be suspended; and Preparation of pipeline projects and declaration of effectiveness for two projects totaling worth US$900million may be suspended. Full details of the World Bank portfolio are attached as Appendix 1 & 2.

“In total, Ghana is likely to lose US$3.8 billion in World Bank Financing over the next five to six years. For 2024 Ghana will lose US$600 million Budget support and US$250 million for the Financial Stability Fund. This will negatively impact on Ghana’s foreign exchange reserves and exchange rate stability as these inflows are expected to shore the country’s reserve position.”


But many of the MPs, who unanimously passed the bill last Wednesday February 28, have countered the letter, expressing anger about the Ministry’s position.

From both sides of the House, in a single voice, are worried about even the tone of the letter, forcefully serving notice that, if the President refuses to sign the bill, they will marshal their colleagues and sign it.

“Emefa the reaction has been furious even all members from the Majority side some of them not speaking on record tell me that they do not like the tone of the letter from the Ministry that has been sent to the government. The Minority MPs are even more furious.

They say the Finance Ministry is simply putting money above the proper human rights of Ghanaians and that, as far as they are concerned, that letter from the Finance Ministry to the President, is a nonstarter. They expect the President to sign the bill and if he does not, the bill will come back to Parliament and they are confident that they will get the 2/3 majority to pass it”, Joy FM’s correspondent reported from Parliament yesterday.

Bill sponsors

A member of the sponsors of the bill, Emmanuel Kwasi Bedzrah, in a separate interview expressed surprise at the action of the Ministry and called the bluff of the Bretton Wood institutions.

The Ho West MP, who said he initially doubted the authenticity of the letter noted that he is surprised a sector that is spearheading the ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ mantra by government is using aids as bargaining chip.

“I am really surprised that the Ministry of Finance with three Ministers coming from Parliament will author this letter of recommendation to the President. It is really surprising. Initially, my doubt about this is that it might not be emanating from the Ministry but since Joy FM can confidently confirm that this is coming from Ministry of Finance, I will base whatever I need to say on your credibility because I doubted this letter.

If you look at the Ministry of Finance, their own motto as part of their letterhead you notice that have written ‘Professional, Ethical, Efficient, Responsive, Transforming Ghana Beyond Aid’. If you have a Ministry that has a motto that says they want to transform Ghana beyond aid and the same ministry will come and recommend to the President that he should suspend the assent of a bill that was passed by Parliament including three of our colleagues. Hon. Amin Anteh who is a Member of Parliament in this House, Hon. Abena Asare is a Member of Parliament in this House and Hon. John Kumah are all Members of Parliament in this House”, the MP said.

When asked to consider the repercussions of the bill if signed, the veteran politician rebutted saying, the financial support Ghana stands to gain, is not higher than the benefits of upholding the integrity and values of the country. He asked the world bodies threatening Ghana to go to hell.

“Emefa, are you listening to yourself? 3.8 billion? Is it the money we are talking about or we are talking about protecting our own integrity, our own cultural values and our morality? Does it know what we are talking about? They can go to hell with their 3.8 billion. If we as Ghanaians are saying about Ghana Beyond Aid, the President, the whole government including all of us agree that Ghana should go beyond aid, why should be clambering for 3.8 billion because of that we should kowtow to them and we should agree to whatever that they say to us?”

I’m Ready to lose seat

Meanwhile, the Majority leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, has expressed his willingness to leave Parliament in the event that his constitutes decide to punish him, for his stance on the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer (LGBTQ+) bill.

According to him, as a businessman, he knows and hears a lot that tells him that the bill in its current form, is not the best.

“This is a very serious matter. I am a private sector person, I hear and I see. I’m a practitioner of the law, I hear and I see. I’m a family man, I’ m a father I hear and I see. As a Ghanaian, I am worried about everything. When I was expressing my own view, I have very bosom friends who were coming to me saying Kwamena, because of the future. I said what future? Look, I don’t mind if the people of Effutu will say look, these were your views so sit at home, I will”, he said in an interview with Joy News’ Elton John Brobbey.

The Effutu MP, was the only one who openly opposed the punishment regime of the bill and suggested that, some amendment be made to it before its passage. He had sought Parliament to replace the custodial sentence with community service.

According to the lawyer, sentencing a person between three to five years in jail under the anti-gay bill, will serve no better purpose.

Atta Akyea’s backing

His proposal was backed by the Abuakwa South MP, Samuel Atta Akyea for a relook at the jailing of the homosexuals.

The request, which led to suspension of the process to pass the bill, was finally withdrawn paving the way for the passage last week after three years of its introduction by some eight MPs, including lead campaigner and MP for Ningo Prampram, Samuel Nartey George.


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