General News of Friday, 22 February 2013
Source: The New Statesman
Ghana’s total public debt at the end of 2012 was GH¢33.5 billion, compared with a total public debt stock of GH¢9.6 billion at the end of 2008 - this equates to GH¢1,361.79 for every Ghanaian.
The figures were contained in a report of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of Ghana (BoG).
This situation represents a 248% increase over the 2008 total public debt level bequeathed to the Mills-Mahama-Amissah-Arthur administration by the John Agyekum Kufuor-led New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration.
This implies that each Ghanaian, baby or adult, is now saddled with a debt of over GH¢, a debt accumulated as a result of the management of the economy in the last four years by the government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Ironically, the level of Ghana’s public debt is without the controversial $3 billion Chinese loan which is yet to hit the Bank of Ghana from the China Development Bank.
“What is mind boggling is that even after adjusting for HIPC debt relief, the stock of public debt that has been accumulated over the last four years alone is higher than the total stock of public debt accumulated by all other governments since independence through to 2008,” an economic analyst told the New Statesman.
“This government has borrowed more in 4 years than the total stock of public debt on our books in 52 years. But for the rebasing of the GDP, Ghana’s debt burden would have currently been above the 60% of GDP level deemed to be unsustainable,” added the economic analyst.
This development has led to many pundits and economic analysts wondering what projects these excessive loans that have been contracted by the ruling NDC have used the money for, as there are no visible projects to be seen.
It is recalled that as at 2000, the stock of public debt as left by the Rawlings led NDC administration stood at $7.5 billion. The stock of domestic debt (gross) stood at GH¢4,778.1 million (27.8 percent of GDP) at the end of 2008, up from GH¢3,708.2 million (26.5 percent of GDP) in 2007.
External debt stood at US$3,982.6 million (28.1 percent of GDP) at the end 2008, up from US$3,590.4 million (24.9 percent of GDP) in 2007. Thus, total public debt at the end of 2008 stood at the equivalent of US$7,918.1 million (55.9 percent of GDP).