Business News of Saturday, 10 February 2018
The Minority in Parliament has slammed the government for failing to present the actual public debt situation of the country, which they claim now stands at GHC140billion .
According to the Minority and rather sought to seek refuge under a misleading calculation of debt to GDP ratio which relied on end of third quarter 2017 figures.
Presenting what they christened the ‘True State of the Nation’ address on Friday,following Thursday’s State of the Nation address by the President Akufo-Addo, Minority leader, Haruna Iddrisu stated that; “In his address last year, President Akufo Addo pegged the total public debt at 122.3 yet he failed yesterday to give a corresponding figure for this year. We are certain that the President conveniently neglected to provide information on our total debt as at end year 2017 because the figures will badly expose his pre-election propaganda about the subject”.
The Minority also explained that official figures as put out by the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of Ghana peg the public debt at nearly GHC140billion as of November, 2017.
Additional borrowing between that period and now coupled with the Energy Sector Bond of GHC4.7billion which the IMF and World Bank classifies as public debt means that this will balloon to about GHC150 billion representing an increase of about GHC30billion over the January,2017 figure or 73% of GDP.
Mr Iddrisu pointed out that the worrying observation about the NPP’s borrowing is that they have virtually no major capital investment to show for it unlike the NDC government that has the best record of capital or infrastructure development in the fourth republic with the GHC87billion borrowed in eight years under the previous government’s tenure.
“Even more misleading was the President’s claims about the rate of debt accumulation. He claimed that the rate of debt accumulation had slowed from 36% in 2016 to 13.5% in 2017. The truth is that the 13.5% figure reflected the situation as of September,2017. It is currently 22%”.