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Ghana’s debt stock to hit GHS250bn in 2020 – Minority

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh
Cassiel Ato Forson
Cassiel Ato Forson

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

Speaking at a press conference in parliament on Thursday, 6 June 2019, the Ranking Member of Parliament's Finance Committee, Cassiel Ato Forson, said the Akufo-Addo government has betrayed Ghanaians with its reckless borrowing.

Mr Forson said the Minority’s GHS250 billion projection by 2020 does not include the GHS750 million commercial loan that the government has taken and another US$1.5 billion that was contracted by the GETFund as well as an additional US$200 million of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).

“Our estimate, based on this trend is that the public debt will rise to about GHS250 billion a year by this time,” he noted.

“Next year by this time, don’t be surprised if your public debt gets to GHS250 billion. This is an addition of GHS130 billion as against what they inherited,” he added.

He was of the view that the “currently spate of borrowing threatens to erode the fiscal space provided by the rebasing of the economy that was started in 2016 and which was concluded in September 2018”.

Mr Forson observed that it was “obvious that the president views rebasing as an opportunity to engage in unbridled borrowing aimed at consumption-related expenditure”.

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”.

According to the Bank of Ghana’s Summary of Economic and Financial Data – May 2019, the debt stock represents 57.5 per cent 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 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.

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