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Business News of Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Source: citifmonline.com

Ghana is not living from hand to mouth - Terkper

As the Nana Akufo Addo administration prepares to come into office, Finance Minister Seth Terkper has insisted that Ghana is not broke since the nation has enough funds in stock to consolidate the economic gains of the outgoing Mahama administration. According to him, the country is not living on what he describes as “hand to mouth”, since there are enough buffers to sustain the economy.

Mr. Terkper who was reacting to the phenomenon of outgoing governments depleting state coffers before they leave office at press conference, maintained that there is money in the coffers for the incoming government.

He stated that the outgoing Mahama administration did not use all the country’s resources for consumption only, but created buffers which can consolidate the economic stability achieved.

“We have been building some buffers, that is the opposite of cleaning or emptying the coffers. If you live from hand-to mouth, you will hardly see it but if you have a mechanism for saving like we are doing through a Sinking Fund, backed by a debt service reserve and account, you will have buffers,” he argued.

Mr. Terkper’s assertion contradicts allegations made by the incoming government during the electioneering campaign that the Mahama administration has mismanaged the country’s resources. But Mr. Terkper explained that the debt management strategy of the government has proved productive.

“The buffers we are creating are the stabilization fund, and I did mention that we have spent 250 million dollars. As we speak I believe there is about a 100 million dollars still in the stabilization fund.

The sinking fund because we paid part of the ten year bond, it also has some funds.

We are building buffers through the stabilization fund, heritage fund, and through the sinking fund and debt service reserve account and others, in essence the country is not living from hand to mouth,” he stressed.

He stated that contrary to accusations that the government has borrowed for consumption goods, the government rather built reserve to carter for the future.

“The country is not using all of its resources for consumption only and this how you do not drain the coffers at any point in time, there must be structural way of doing it, unlike the way these things were done in the past,” he said.