The Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) has come under fire for using tax payers’ money to fund political campaigns of some New Patriotic Party (NPP) parliamentary candidates as part of the government’s grand scheme to buy votes ahead of the 2024 elections.

Ahead of the NPP parliamentary primaries in orphan constituencies on Saturday (1 December), it has been uncovered that MASLOC is dishing out loans to over 250 women delegates in the Okaikwei North constituency in the Greater Accra Region to influence them to vote for Alberta Afia Akoto as the party’s parliamentary candidate for the area.

Meeting delegates on Wednesday evening in the constituency, Afia Akoto, who is also the former deputy CEO of MASLOC, confirmed that the state financial institution will disburse the loans on Friday, 1 December 2023 – the eve of the primaries, which is taking place on 2 December.

“I promised you that I will secure MASLOC loans for you. People doubted me. I took 500 names to MASLOC to get them loans but I have managed to secure cheques for 250 people for now so that I will shame my detractors,” Afia Akoto told the delegates.

“On Friday, we are going to disburse the loans. I want to assure those who are yet to secure their loans to exercise patience. Theirs will also come,” she added.

Afia Akoto, who is also a deputy communications director of the NPP, used the occasion to announce that the scholarship secretariat has given her 62 scholarship slots for her supporters.

Reports say MASLOC is reportedly giving out more loans to supporters of candidates who have close ties to the Office of the President. MASLOC has declined to comment on the issue.

Afia Akoto, who is in the race with deputy trades minister Nana Ama Dokua Asiamah-Adjei, former MP Fuseini Issah, managing editor for the Daily Searchlight newspaper Kenneth Agyei Kuranchie told the gathering that her marriage with former NDC deputy organizer Chief Biney is still being used against her despite collapse of the union.

Political watchers have over the years raised concerns about vote-buying in Ghana’s politics while anti-graft bodies have condemned the use of tax payers’ money such as state loans among other goodies to fund political campaigns.

The governing NPP is holding primaries for over 100 orphan constituencies including Okaikwei North on Saturday 2nd December 2023.

Source: Ghana/