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General News of Sunday, 18 August 2019

Source: rainbowradioonline.com

I’II borrow more as prez to expand Ghana’s economy - Akpaloo

The Founder and leader of the Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG), Mr Percival Kofi Akpaloo has hinted he will borrow more to expand Ghana’s economy.

The aspiring president speaking in an interview on Frontline on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm said there "is nothing wrong with borrowing’’.

Ghana’s rising debt levels has been described as worrying.

The World Bank Country Director, Pierre Frank LaPorte, has expressed worry over the rising levels of Ghana’s debts.

According to him, if the country’s debt is not immediately checked, Ghana could soon return to HIPC.

He attributed the country’s rising debts to the government’s increased borrowing to pay outstanding debts without reinvesting the monies.

He was speaking at the World Bank’s Economic Marathon held in Accra on Thursday, July 25.

“Actually, the World Bank is quite concerned about the recent trend in debt. We see across Africa debt is rising and we may be returning to HIPC levels of debt, where debt was unsustainable. All the gains from the HIPC initiative are being eroded,” he said. He added:

“Borrowing is necessary for development, but we have to consider sustainability. Africa has to be careful and Ghana is no exception. We have to consider domestic and external debt because when the economy is in balance and foreign currency is not an issue.

“A country can repay its external debt but there has to be a balance so not too much of your foreign exchange reserves are being used to service debt,” he said.

Despite these warnings, Kofi Apkaloo says he will borrow and invest the money in constructing factories to help create jobs.

"We want to expand the economy; we want to stimulate it. We want to grow the economy so we are ready to borrow more money to expand the economy. We will borrow to expand the economy and so everybody should be ready for that,’’ he said.

He added: ‘’if we borrow more to build factories there is nothing wrong with that. If you construct factories in every district, then you have to borrow to do that. You cannot use your mouth to construct the factories, it demands money and so we have to borrow to do it.’’

Ghana’s total public debt as at May 2019 stood at about GHc200 million, translating into about $38.8 billion.

This is according to the Bank of Ghana’s latest Summary of Economic and Financial report.

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 per cent and 52.5 per cent of GDP.

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

In the Banking sector, Total assets of banks in the country grew to 112.8 billion cedis by July 2019 compared to 100.3 billion cedis in the same period under review.

Meanwhile, non-performing loans of banks dropped to 18.1% in July 2019 from 22.6% in July 2019.