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General News of Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Source: kingdomfmonline.com

Government has not ballooned debt by 80 billion cedis - Oppong Nkrumah


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Information Minister, Mr. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has denied claims by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) that the Akufo-Addo government has, within two years, added GHS80 billion to the country’s public debt stock.

According to the Minister, although not all have been done, the Nana Addo led government has laid sound economic fundamentals to cushion Ghanaians saying this has reflected in every sector.

The Minority in Parliament has projected that Ghana’s public debt stock will hit GHS250 billion by 2020 based on the current ballooning rate of the debt stock.

The Minority accused President Nana Akufo-Addo of being unable to show significant capital investments despite the resources at his disposal, adding that the president has rather “resorted to deceit to explain away his failure”.

“With regard to the external loans, all of those loans are given approval by Parliament in accordance with Article 181 of the Constitution 1992 and sections 55, 56, 57 of the public financial management Act, Act 921 for which the Minority is a party. You can add up all the loans this administration has taken to Parliament and it will not come near 80 billion’, Hon Kojo Oppong Nkrumah told Kwame Tutu exclusively on Anopa Nkomo on Accra based Kingdom FM 107.7.

Ghana’s debt stock is now US$38.9 billion (GHS198 billion), GHS2 billion shy of GHS200 billion as of March 2019.

According to the Bank of Ghana’s Summary of Economic and Financial Data – May 2019, the debt stock represents 57.5 percent of Ghana’s GDP as of March 2019.

In January this year, the total public debt was GHS176.6 billion (US$35.7 billion) and GHS180.7 billion (US$35 billion) for February.

The figure for January and February represented 51.3 percent and 52.5 percent of GDP.

A total of GHS21.4 billion was added to the public debt in the first three months of 2019.

The current debt is inclusive of the US$3 billion Eurobond issued by the government in March this year.

“Indeed, if there was a list of loans that add up to 80 billion, you will imagine that the Minority will put up that list by now. The reason for which our debt stock today will show a difference of about 80 billion is that the figures are a nominal public debt stock and the public debt stock figure is made up of a number of things’.

He said old loans that are now being disbursed within the tenure of this administration add to the public debt stock and it does not mean the administration has gone to borrow.

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