Government borrows GH¢19,087.87m in first quarter

Business News of Friday, 24 January 2020



Ken Ofori-Atta, Finance MinisterKen Ofori-Atta, Finance Minister

Government says it plans to borrow an amount of GH¢19,087.87 million this first quarter, of which GH¢15,685.81 million would be used to rollover maturities, while the remainder of GH¢3,402.06 million goes to take care of government financing.

According to the Ministry of Finance which disclosed this, total revenue and grants for 2020 was projected to rise to GH¢67.0 billion (16.8% of GDP), up from a projected outturn of GH¢54.6 billion (15.8% of GDP) for 2019, while resource total expenditure (including clearance of arrears) was projected at GH¢85.9 billion (21.6% of GDP).

The key drivers of expenditure growth include the wage bill, interest payments, one-off costs associated with the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections, full funding of government flagship programmes and security. The next Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting scheduled for January 27 to 30, this year, would find out how much the country’s total public debt had reached as at end December last year.

This will be announced on Friday, January 31, 2020.

In January last year, the total public debt was GH¢176.6 billion, representing 51 per cent of GDP followed by GH¢180.7 billion in February, representing 52.2 per cent of GDP and GH¢198.0 billion in March which represented 57.2 per cent of GDP.

In April of 2019, the total debt clogged GH¢198.5 billion (57.4 per cent of GDP) and continued to GH¢200.0 billion (57.8 per cent of GDP) in May, GH¢203.9 billion (58.0 per cent of GDP) in June and GH¢205.5 billion (59.2 per cent of GDP) in July.

For August, it recorded GH¢208.4 billion (60.3 per cent of GDP) and GH¢208.6 billion (60.3 per cent of GDP) in September.

Per the latest calendar, government said it aimed to build benchmark bonds through the issuance of the 91-day and 182-day bills on a weekly basis; the 364-day bill on a bi-weekly basis, also through the primary and auction, with settlement being the transaction date plus one working day. It said securities of two-year up to seven-year up will be issued through the book-building method; while the issuance of the 20-year bond as a shelf offering would be re-opened based on investors’ request and market conditions.

It further announced that it may announce tap-ins/reopening of other existing instruments depending on market conditions.