General News of Thursday, 20 July 2017
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) says the appetite of government for borrowing will leave Ghana in a worse economic state if not curtailed.
The party is predicting the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo government will saddle citizens with an estimated GHS640 billion debt within four years.
At a news conference in Accra Thursday, NDC National Chairman Kofi Portuphy expressed worry over what he said was the “reckless” borrowing of the government.
“Who cannot remember the shrill voices of [Vice President] Dr Mahamudu Bawumia all over the place berating the NDC government of borrowing to develop the nation?” he recalled periods leading to the December 2016 elections.
Mr Portuphy said the “lies of the [governing] NPP has been badly exposed because in only six months it has borrowed over GHS40 billion in direct contravention of their sworn pledge never to borrow if given the opportunity to govern.”
The figure is clearly wrong but may have been lifted from a question asked the President by journalist, Bernard Avle Tuesday during a media interaction.
The Citi FM presenter tallied some monies he thought were loans being assessed by the government.
“In March this year, we went for Ghc1billion 3-year bond. In April a $2.25billion dollar bond which translates into Ghc10.25 was announced. In the same month, we announced a $2.4billion bond to clear legacy debts in the energy sector, translates that to Ghc12billion.
“Last week we were told there is a Ghc17.4billion bond being sought for T3. Putting all the figures together in Ghana cedis, that’s about Ghc40billion if all these bonds go through,” Mr Avle said.
But Dr Bawumia dismissed the GHS40 billion figure, maintaining some of the facilities are the outcome of a partnership with other nations and not loans.
He singled out the GHS17.4 billion facility, stated by the journalist, as a partnership agreement with the Chinese government.
He told the journalist that, “even if you are borrowing, the burden of that, we are trying to bring down through the process of consolidation.”
But the NDC Chairman maintained the government had borrowed GHS40 billion within six months.
“Indeed if Nana Addo and Bawumia had borrowed a whopping GHS 40 billion in only six months then by the time they run through their four years, Ghanaians will have been saddled with GHS640 billion debt burden,” Mr Portuphy said.
He argued it was only a matter of time for Ghanaians to experience the hardship the country will be plunged into by government’s new found love for borrowing.
“Are we safe? Is the future of Ghana safe?” Mr Portuphy asked.