The Communications Officer for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Sammy Gyamfi has come out to defend the comments made by former President John Mahama over Ghana returning to HIPC.
Mahama speaking at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel on Monday, October 26, 2020, said Ghana is back to being a Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) under President Akufo-Addo.
The NPP has come out to rubbish the claims and said this is pure falsehood coming from the John Mahama and the NDC and have asked the public to disregard this.
However, Sammy Gyamfi says the NPP is trying to twist the words of Mr Mahama because he never said Ghana has been declared HIPC but only said Ghana is back to HIPC.
Mr Gyamfi said Mahama's comments are factual because the country finds itself currently in the same position it was years back before it was declared HIPC.
"The response from IMF doesn't negate any concern or statement from Former President John Mahama or the NDC has made relative to our debt position. President Mahama never said that Ghana had been declared as a HIPC country by the IMF, no one in the NDC has said so. He said we are back to HIPC and that is different from being declared. Context is important when you are interpreting the comments of people. What Mahama said was factual and that is Ghana is back to the same debt unsustainable position that we were at the time we were declared a HIPC country by the IMF and the World Bank," he said on Joy FM.
Mahama speaking at La Palm Royal Beach Hotel where he engaged professionals ahead of the December 7 polls said: “Contrary to the impression created by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo that he inherited nothing from me and that he inherited a mess, I left him revenue from two new oil fields - the TEN field and ENI Sankofa fields.
“I left him with $270 million in the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund. I left him with more than $207 million in the Stabilisation Fund and about $300 million in the Sinking Fund with which the final payment of the Kufuor euro bond was paid on maturity in 2017,” Mr Mahama said.
He continued that: “As for the 2020 growth, the economy that was sold to us as resilient and capable of withstanding shocks for at least three months without any external intervention could not stay afloat without IMF support for more than three weeks.
“Even worse, the rate of borrowing by this government has dazed many observers.
“The IMF in its Sub-Saharan African Regional Economic Outlook forecast the current rate of borrowing and debt at a frightening 76.7% debt to GDP ratio.
“Ladies and gentlemen, unfortunately, Ghana is back to HIPC status under Nana Akufo-Addo and Ken Ofori-Atta administration.”
Meanwhile, the Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, responded to the allegations at the fifth edition of the Nation Building Updates in Accra and says Ghana exited HIPC in July 2004.
"We (government) categorically say that it is not true that Ghana has been declared HIPC or have been added to a list of HIPC countries. The highly indebted poor countries initiative or the HIPC Initiative was a particular programme that was rolled out by international organisations like the World Bank, the IMF and the Donor partners in 2001.
"Ghana exited the HIPC programme in 2004, from 1996 the IMF and World Bank have been publishing countries that get in an out of their programmes, What we have noticed the flagbearer of the NDC is going around spreading falsehood and his social media team are amplifying it claiming Ghana's mention on that list from 1996 means we are back to HIPC. Ghana is no longer a poor country and technically can't go for HIPC. What Mahama and his cohorts are pushing out is not true," he said on Joy News.
The Minister said such viral fake news reports were part of a broad and deliberate strategy by some persons to deceive the public ahead of the December 7 polls.