…Over NHIS Ghc1.2bn debt reduction claim
President Akufo-Addo’s self-portrayal as a resourceful president who has paid off most of government’s local debts continues to crumble in the face of facts that continue to emerge.
Even as the dust is yet to settle on the exposal of his lie that he has paid the bigger chunk of debts owed GETFund contractors, it has emerged that his claim to paying part of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS)’s Ghc1.2billion debt is also a lie.
This time, the man who has pulled the carpet from under the feet of the President is his own appointee. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Dr. Samuel Annor, has called for a multifaceted approach in tackling the National Health Insurance Scheme’s debt portfolio of Ghc1.2 billion cedis.
The NHIA CEO, who is currently on a nationwide tour, made the call in Tamale yesterday, six clear days after President Akufo-Addo had told journalists at a press encounter that he has settled a huge part of the NHIS debt.
“As an insurance scheme, apart from paying all your bills, you’re supposed to have a reserve for six months so that should any catastrophe happen you can absorb it. But now, we have a scheme that has got zero reserve and owe service providers 1.2 billion cedis,” Dr. Annor told Union leaders in Tamale.
His admission makes nonsense of President Akufo-Addo’s claim, less than a week ago, that he has paid off the better part of the Ghc1.2billion NHIS debt that he inherited from the predecessor NDC government.
“I will also point out that much of the statutory arrears, that we met, have been cleared, that is debts to the NHIS, the District Assembly Common fund, and the GETFund,” President Akufo-Addo had claimed.
The exposal has served to chip away once more at the credibility of the President who lied wildly during the 2016 election campaign to get votes.
Dr. Annor’s exposal comes on the heels of another exposal by contractors owed over Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFUND) contracts that they have carried out. President Akufo-Addo at the same press encounter had claimed that he has settled more than half of the debts owed these contractors.
“I am being urged to pay contractors. I am paying them. In 2017, nearly GH¢1 billion (GOG – GH¢300,400,156.75; Road Fund- GH¢664,091,476.88) of the GH¢1.6 billion owed road contractors was cleared.
“In January this year, we have disbursed GH¢125 million out of the remainder of GH¢600 million to the contractors”, the President had claimed.
Soon after the claim however, the leader of the GETFund contractors, Daniel Tanoh, came out to deny the claim.
According to him, contrary to what the President told the media, many of the claims that had been submitted for payment had not been honoured.
“GETFund contractors do not agree with what the President said. It’s not true that GETFund has paid even one-fourth of what the President said. For that reason we disagree with what the President said. The Ministry of Finance is supposed to give money to GETFund to pay contractors. As I speak, since July 2016 till date, those that have placed their claims to GETFund have not received their payments,” Mr. Tannoh had said.
Since the revelation by the GETFund contractors, the NPP government seems to have been left stupefied by shame, with Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid, only issuing a terse statement acknowledging the contractors counter claim.
It is as the exposal is still trending that the Chief Executive of the NHIS has also come out to reveal that the Ghc1.2billion NHIS debt that the NPP government inherited, is still intact and feeding on itself, and not being settled as the President claimed.
Meanwhile President Akufo-Addo’s claim that his government has since canceled some 11 Power Purchase Agreements leading to savings of some $7.2billion remains only a claim as the government has since not been able to produce details on the claim.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/Stan Adotey