General News of Tuesday, 30 October 2018
Former President John Dramani Mahama has asked President Nana Akufo-Addo to apologise to Ghanaians for his hypocrisy over borrowing to run the economy.
The President and his vice, then in opposition, consistently critisised the Mahama administration for excessive borrowing ahead of the 2016 election.
Mahama according to Vice President Bawumia had a voracious appetite for foreign loans, an action he described as “reckless” and “worrying.”
But about two years into his Presidency, President Akufo-Addo said his government will continue borrowing money for projects.
The President also said the projects will be “assets” to pay back loans.
“Borrowing money is not aid. What President Xi Jinping offered is a $60 billion fund which African countries can access, not as aid but as loans. If you can produce a project that the Chinese think is worth supporting, you can have access to that money, but you have to pay it back.”
But Mr. Mahama said remarks like the one the President made will only anger Ghanaians.
Speaking at a meeting with National Democratic Congress (NDC) delegates in Amasaman in the Greater Accra Region, John Mahama said the NPP owed Ghanaians an apology.
“It is the hypocrisy that Ghanaians are angry with and we have all your quotations about borrowing. You said any idiot can borrow. That is what you said.”
“…so today if you have turned around and you see that you can borrow and invest in assets, the first thing you do is apologise, the first thing you do is apologise to Ghanaians and say you didn’t know; we are sorry, now we will borrow, even the US is borrowing. Of course, the US is borrowing. So what?”
‘Even US borrows’
Speaking at an entrepreneurship forum in Nigeria organised by the Tony Elumelo Foundation, President Akufo-Addo insisted every country borrows money for projects and Ghana is not an exception.
The President was responding to a question on why Ghana goes for loans from China despite trumpeting the Ghana Beyond Aid mantra.
“We will borrow money; everybody borrows money. The United States of America is one of the biggest debtors in the world. So borrowing money is not necessarily a betrayal of the concept of independence.
The key for us in borrowing money is that we borrow money to create assets that will allow us to pay the money back. That is the key…If we borrow the money and use it properly it is an asset for us in expanding our economy and infrastructure.”