Contrary to Dr Mahamudud Bawumai’s recent red flag about the country’s rising debt situation, President Mahama has said it is necessary for the state to keep borrowing for key infrastructural developments.
At a durbar to mark the end of his two-day working visit to the Eastern Region, the President said the country was going to borrow even more to ensure that basic facilities such as water and electricity is made available to every Ghanaian.
On Tuesday, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, an eminent economist and former Governor of the Bank of Ghana slammed the John Mahama government for the country’s spiralling debt situation and high interest payments on them.
Dr Bawumia said the country’s debt situation has contributed the cedi’s depreciation.
The opposition party’s 2012 Vice Presidential Candidate’s “Restoring the Value of the Cedi” lecture at the Central University College Miotso Campus on Tuesday, revealed the country’s 9.5 billion Ghana cedis debt stock at 2008 had ballooned to 49.9 billion, representing an increase of over 40 billion in five years.
Dr Bawumia also warned that the country’s economic “crisis” could soon land Ghana at the doorstep of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout.
President John Mahama on the other hand said although the country has borrowed hugely, the funds have been put to good use.
“We did not borrow to drink or to eat; we borrowed to bring facilities such as electricity and water to the people of Ghana”, a Twi-speaking Mahama told the Chiefs and people of Kyebi on Wednesday.
He said many countries doing well economically across the globe have once borrowed heavily.
The President was content that Ghana ranks second after South Africa in Sub-Saharan Africa in terms of “electricity connectivity on the continent” — adding that currently 75 percent of Ghanaians had access to electricity, an achievement that was chalked through borrowing.
He further revealed that a Water Treatment Plant for the people of Kyebi in the East Akyem Municipality, which he had just commissioned was also made possible through a £7.9 million loan.
“Don’t let anyone deceive you. This country is not retrogressing. We are moving forward and we will stay on that course”, he assured the gathering at the durbar.