Gov’t urged not to abuse ties with China

Hon. John Dean Kuku
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THE Leader of Independent Group in Parliament, John Dean Kuku yesterday offered some comments on the recent release of additional PRC National Development Fund (NDF) funding to DCCG members of parliament.

Kuku expressed concern that the release of NDF may be unconstitutional and called on the Government to take full responsibility for such gross inept actions.

He noted that even though PRC is a non-member economy of OECD, it had established a working relationship since 1995 and had earned the status as OECD Key Partner.

“China being an OECD Key Partner had always recognized and participated in global policy discourse to promote transparency, accountability, budget discipline and management, public governance and trade and investment policies,” Kuku said.

“These field of works are so important for our country and that which we should put some efforts to learn from the experiences of China and some member economies resident in our country,” he added.

“China is a donor country and had always adhered to specific principles and practices in transparency and public governance.

“We must not abuse their status as a diplomatic partner.

“PRC aid policies should be respected therefore must not be treated the same way as ROC, therefore the NDF scheme previously concocted under ROC must be abandoned and a new transparent and enhanced program of development assistance engagement with PRC should be developed and adopted.”

Kuku emphasized that all development funds from PRC should be properly appropriated pursuant to the provisions of the constitution.

“I am recommending that PRC development assistance should be captured under section 100 of the constitution.

“This should include any funds held in any ESCROW Account other than Special Funds established under the Public Finance and Management Act,” he said.

Kuku further noted that the funds in the ESCROW Account were meant for CDF.

He questioned why was the fund not fully disbursed in the 2020 financial year.

“Furthermore, the prime minister had authorized the conversions of the funds held with ESCOW Account from being CDF funds to NDF funds.

“If the ESCOW Account funds are held under section 100 of the constitution or other special funds established under the Public Funds and Management Act, then funds held in the ESCROW Account can only be released upon conditions on requests being fully satisfied.

“On this note, I would like to call on the Minister of Finance and Governor of CBSI to fully explain the conditions of the ESCROW Account.”

Kuku said he’d noted that the Economic Recovery justification as stated in the PM’s Minute may be misleading as the amount released will have insignificant impact on the proposed recovery.

He called on the DCCG and Prime Minister to take effective responsibility in managing the diplomatic relations and development partnership with PRC for the good of economic and social prosperity of our country, and avoid putting PRC between a rock and a hard place for the sake of political expediency.