Confronting the 4 billion dollars loss to corruption should create enough buffers to meet the infrastructure development agenda of the NPP government, Finance Minister Nominee, Ken Ofori Atta has said. According to him, reducing the high incidences of corruption if not eradicating the canker completely should assist government address the infrastructure deficit facing the country. Mr. Ofori Atta made the remarks when he appeared before the Appointments Committee of Parliament on Friday. “If you look at the issues that the Auditor General brings out, there’s real money in savings that we have to confront; corruption at 5 percent leads to about 4 billion dollars and we can do something about that.” The Finance Minister Nominee bemoaned the current 15 percent of the country’s revenue allocation on capital expenditure suggesting that the figure ought to double at least. “For a country of this nature, 15 percent of our income being used for capital expenditure infrastructure is inadequate. It has to increase to about 30 percent.”Mr. Ofori Atta was also optimistic that the ultimate reduction in interest rates which currently averages 30 percent should save the country about 2.4 billion dollars in interest payments. Questions from members of the Appointments Committee centered largely on how the Finance Minister Nominee would protect the public purse in the face of high economic pressures, labour agitations as well as a general slowdown in economic growth. But an optimistic Ken Ofori Atta maintained that policies by his outfit and that outlined by the NPP should tame the shocks likely to hit the Ghanaian economy. “The country may seem broke but actually not broken and that there are ways in which the infrastructure base could be improved,” he opined.
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