Curb your voracious appetite for borrowing – Minority to gov’t

Curb your voracious appetite for borrowing – Minority to gov’t
Source: Ghana | | Oswald Azumah|
Date: 18-07-2019 Time: 03:07:54:pm
The Minority has asked government to stop unnecessary borrowing

The Minority in Parliament is firing fresh arsenals at government ahead of a scheduled mid-year budget review.

A statement from the National Democratic Congress’ spokesperson on finance, Cassiel Ato Forson, has sounded a word of caution to the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Ata, ahead of his presentation to the House on Monday, July 22.

Cassiel Ato Forson in his release asked government to ease the gas on borrowing; describing the rate President Nana Akufo-Addo and his NPP administration are borrowing as “voracious.”

“Ghana is currently at a high risk of debt distress because our debt-to-GDP ratio and debt service ratio have both breached their required limits.”

“In the face of this obvious challenge, the Minority cautions government to exercise restraint and curb its voracious appetite for borrowing,” Mr Forson wrote.

As of June 2019, Ghana’s debt stock stands at an estimated GH¢200 billion.

According to the NDC, the NPP government is responsible for GH¢80 billion of that figure in their just over years of being power.

According to the Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam MP, the government has used these monies “for consumption which is posing a serious liquidity constraint for capital expenditure.”

This, he says, pose a grave danger to the local economy.

Government has, however, disputed Forson’s claims of borrowing over GH¢80 billion in two years.

According to Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, a change in the nominal stock did not mean the government has taken new loans.

Kojo Oppong Nkrumah
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah

“As always, the very persons making the claims know the first addition to our debt stock is the current disbursements of loans contracted under their tenure.

“The ongoing disbursements of loans for the Eastern University and the Tema Mpakadan railway, just to mention a few, all contribute to the ¢80 billion change in our nominal debt stock,” Oppong Nkrumah said.

Ato Forson has meanwhile, cautioned the government to avoid extra-budget transactions in other to sustain their “populist and unsustainable campaign promises.”

“If this practise should continue, the whole Budgetary process from now till the end of the year will be compromised,” the legislator said.