Akufo-Addo government has ‘recklessly’ borrowed GHC50bn in 2 years – CDG-GH report

General News of Thursday, 22 November 2018

Source: ghanaguardian.com

2018-11-22

Ken Ofori-Atta, Finance Minister

The Caucus for Democratic Change Ghana(CDG-GH) has slammed the Government for its refusal to disclose Ghana’s debt during the 2019 budget presentation in Parliament.

The CDG-GH says the Akufo Addo administration has borrowed 50 billion GHc in 2 years, describing it as “reckless”.

It said the 2019 budget presented by the finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta was “empty, uninspiring and hopeless”

“The budget reading sounded like a grammar lecture, full of bizarre economic terminologies and figures,” it said in a statement.

“The truth is that the Government has lost focus; making reckless borrowing a weapon for economic recovery.”

It further criticised the size Government being kept by Nana Addo, saying keeping 111 minsters has resulted in “more borrowed money being put into consumption instead of production.”

“If you have to pay 111 Ministers and 569 Presidential Staffers with, Presidential budget of 1.9 billion( 2018), for presidential trips among others, then you are investing in consumption, which brings no returns,” the report added.

Read full statement below

CAUCUS FOR DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE -GHANA (CDG-GH)

PRESS RELEASE

20th NOVEMBER, 2018

THE BUDGET IS SILENT ON NATIONAL DEBT, AS GOVERNMENT BORROWS RECKLESSLY

The Caucus for Democratic Governance, Ghana (CDG-GH) has registered with regret, that the Akufo Addo Government has borrowed 50 billion GHc in 2 years; with a projection of 170 billion National debt in 2019. The budget reading sounded like a grammar lecture, full of bizarre economic terminologies and figures. For the hungry and desperate ; for the millions of jobless and the distressed businesses, the budget is empty, hopeless and lacks positive expectation and strategy for job creation.

The truth is that the Government has lost focus; making reckless borrowing a weapon for economic recovery. The Finance Minister among others, seeks to borrow GHc 1.5 billion in 2019 for the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) while massive projects from the previous Government have been halted.

From our observations, the Akufo Addo Government has a problem. On one hand, the tax revenue is underperforming by 2.4 billion relative to projections; on the other hand, the expenditure is galloping. More borrowed money is being put into consumption instead of production. If you have to pay 111 Ministers and 569 Presidential Staffers with, Presidential budget of 1.9 billion( 2018), for presidential trips among others, then you are investing in consumption, which brings no returns.

The Government continues to talk of one District one factory, when the following completed factories

1. Komenda Sugar Factory

2. Aveyime Rice Project

3. Ayensu Starch Factory

4. Pualugu Tomato Factory

5. Kumasi Jute Factory,

built with the tax payers money are lying waste. This cannot be in the interest of Ghana, especially when massive borrowing is going on.

We import 200 million $ worth of sugar into Ghana yearly; yet the completed Komenda Sugar Factory is not producing. We import 1.2 billion rice into Ghana yet a whole Aveyime Rice Project is idle. The Ayensu Starch Factory, the Poalugu Tomato Factory and the Kumasi Jute Factory are a few of the many Factories lying idle. Instead of employing workers in these already completed factories, the President keeps singing discord melodies on one District one Factory, to deceive Ghanaians.

The Finance Minister can continue to read his budget full of economic grammar ; as long as imports far exceed exports and tax revenue continue to dwindle, we would continue to borrow to subsidize our economy. As far as the above factories whose products can reduce imports by over 19 billion yearly are left to rot, the 2019 budget will be described as empty, uninspiring and hopeless.

The CDG-GH with this press release seeks to dissuade the Government from excessive borrowing for consumption purposes. When old projects are halted as the case is now, we stand the danger of paying judgement debt. Ghanaians are crying for help. Unfortunately they will not get help until the needed change comes.

Dr E.K, HAYFORD

Chief Convener CDG-GH

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