General News of Tuesday, 18 July 2017
Borrowing has become a laurel the President, his Vice and the Finance Minister are all competing for, Member of Parliament for Juaboso, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh has said.
According to him, the very same NPP administration that heavily criticized the outgone Mahama-led government for borrowing sums of money for various projects during its tenure is the very same one championing the cause for borrowing in the nation.
“They told us when we were in government that we borrowed too much and that when they come into power, they won’t borrow because we are sitting on money. Today, they are in competition. Ken Bond, who went for the over USD 2 billion bond, and the Vice President who went to China to also borrow”, he said.
He maintained that the party has gone back on its promise to refrain from borrowing to fund its projects.
“When they were in opposition, they told us there is money here in Ghana that we are sitting on and that we won’t go for funding or loans from elsewhere, today, all three of them, the President, Vice President, and Finance Minister are competing in borrowing”, he said.
The New Patriotic Party has come under harsh criticism from the public for borrowing some monies from external sources to fund projects as against its pledge to Ghanaians during its campaigns prior to the 2016 polls.
The NPP government was accused of chasing a loan total of 14 billion dollars with a 15-year repayment timeframe and a 19 percent interest rate, which was put before parliament for approval earlier this year. They were also reported to have borrowed a whooping GH¢1.7 billion from the domestic market.
Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, also in April this year, revealed that government borrowed a total of US$2.25 billion in four bonds.The first two bonds, totalling 1.13 billion dollars, was issued at 15 and 7 years period with the same coupon of 19.75%. In addition, the Ministry of Finance raised the Cedi equivalent of USD1.12 billion in 5 and 10-year bonds via a tap-in arrangement.
Most recent which sparked controversy in the public was Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia’s US$ 15bn loan borrowed from China. Mr. Bawumia has however come out to refute claims that the monies were borrowed, according to him, it was a joint venture and 5% of the country’s refined bauxite reserves will be invested in order to “unlock the 15 billion dollar amount.