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Opinions of Thursday, 20 June 2019

Columnist: theheraldghana.com

Time cannot change what Bawumia said in 2016 about borrowing; Alhassan Suhuyini was right

One controversial issue that has dominated the political space since the conclusion of the 2016 general elections, is whether or not the vice-president, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, said the Akufo-Addo government was not going to borrow.

The issue of Ghana’s rising debt profile, has always generated concerns from across the nation’s economic and political spectrum.

Political parties and politicians, have since 1992, taken advantage of the debt levels, depending on which political party is in power.

As a running mate of President Akufo-Addo, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, made a capital out of our debt level when his party the New Patriotic Party (NPP), was in opposition.

He organized lectures upon lectures and every radio or television appearance, he made sure the issue of borrowing under President John Dramani Mahama, was tabled for discussion.

A tweet that ostensibly came from his handle, promising that his government will not borrow, became a subject of debate over the weekend.

On Saturday 15th June 2019, during the Joy News/TV news analysis show, Newsfile, Member of Parliament (MP) for the Tamale North Constituency, Alhassan Suhuyini, said that in December 2016, the then running mate, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, tweeted that the NPP, when voted into office, would harness the resources of the country to develop Ghana ’without borrowing’.

Spokesperson to the Veep, Dr. Gideon Boako, on Monday, issued a statement denying the claim of Alhassan Suhuyini, insisting the Veep, never said the NPP government, will never borrow.

The statement has revealed a skewed paradigm shift from what we saw in 2016. Curiously, the tweet that Alhassan Suhuyini, referred to trended in 2016, at that time the office of the running mate never came out to issue a disclaimer, instead it was endorsed for political expediency.

Ordinarily, this should not have been a major concern, but for what played out in 2016, when Dr. Bawumia, accused the then government of not borrowing smartly.

While the argument for or against borrowing could linger for a long time, this newspaper urges the government to be careful of excessive borrowing as Ghana’s debt, has been on a steep rise, leading to the fear that the future of unborn generations of Ghanaians are being mortgaged.