Ghana pays over $18 million as judgement debt annually, finance minister reveals

Ghana’s finance minister, Ken Ofori Atta has disclosed that the government pays over $18 million (GH¢94 million) to individuals and companies in judgement debt annually. 

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta

This, according to him is due to orders from the court for breaches of contracts and largely compensation for personal injury claims and acquisitions which cannot be ignored.

The debt he says is a cost to the taxpayer.

The minister made the revelation while speaking on the floor of parliament after being asked by MP for Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam, Cassiel Ato Forson about how much government has paid in judgement debt from January to date.

He revealed that the current government has paid over GH¢280 million in judgement debt since they assumed power in 2017.

Adding that steps have been taken to minimize the cases of judgement debts as much as possible and this includes "prioritising judgement cases within legal departments, ensuring proper settlement record and negotiating with claimants to avoid expensive courts cases and judgements".

Mr Ofori Atta further noted that the government upon assumption of office in January 2017 met an outstanding judgement debt of over GH¢489 million.

“A number of cases have been pending in court, out of which over GH¢197 million has crystallised bringing the total amount to GH¢ 679,076,438.15,” he said.

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