Dr Theresa Blankson: Govts can’t avoid judgment debts

Judgement debts cannot be avoided in the operations of governments, according to Dr. Theresa Blankson, a fellow in charge of the Center for Social Justice’s (CSJ) Finance and Economy Pillar.

Although judgment debts are unavoidable in any functioning government, she claims that their size and persistence can be alarming.

“We cannot avoid judgment debt; it is a fact of doing business in government. But I believe that what we should be worried about is the amount or size, as well as how persistently we deal with enormous sums like these enormous numbers that are being produced, she said.

Her comments come in response to JoyNews’ investigation, which found that the government has paid judgment debts of 125 million since 2017.

2018 saw the payment of the largest judgment debt. The payment made to Jubilee Tractors and Assembly Plant Limited was 30.9 million cedis.

The National Security Council was the target of a lawsuit that resulted to this. 29.5 million cedis were given to NDK Financial Services in 2017.

The greatest amount paid since the NPP took over government was in 2017, when payouts totaled 54 million, according to a thorough analysis of the different years.

According to research from the Centre for Social Justice published in 2021, this amount of 125 million is insignificant compared to the enormous 356.6 million debt that the NDC administration paid off in 2010.

Speaking on JoyNews’ Newsfile on Saturday, Dr. Blankson said that given the lack of infrastructure in this country, it is really concerning that such large sums are continually being spent to settle judgment debts.

And when you consider it in the context of the immense developmental challenges the economy faces, particularly when you talk about healthcare, education, where students are still taught in this day and age under trees, school buildings in poor condition, and even when you consider our health facilities, which are not well enough strengthened to care for the population.

“Within that context, I think it makes reasonable to truly think about the numbers that have been generated, taking into account also the high youth unemployment rate that we have and significant levels of poverty. Therefore, I believe it to be a worrying trend, and after we completed our analysis for the 2000–2019 time frame, I had hoped that this would be stopped in its tracks, but we are still hearing about it, she added.

As of now in 2022, the government has paid 2.8 million in judgment debt.

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