Former President John Dramani Mahama has said the public debt increase under the Akufo-Addo government is worrying, warning the situation is likely to deplete Ghana’s fortune.
“The rate of borrowing in these four years has been supersonic” the Presidential candidate of the opposition NDC emphasized in an interview with Francis Abban on Starr 103.5 FM.
He said it’s problematic for one to gloss over the ever-growing mountain of debt, especially when the phenomenal increase in public debt does not commensurate with the infrastructure projects and investment undertaken by the Akufo-Addo government.
“And the point we make is if you borrow at that rate you must be investing it in something tangible. Unfortunately, there is not much that one can see that that phenomenal increase in our public debt has been able to give us. Mostly they say Free SHS, but Free SHS has not been financed by debts, it’s been financed from the Annual Budget Funding Amount(ABFA) which is taken from our Oil revenues and so it cannot be part of the debts. And so what accounts for that huge increase in our debts? I mean is for them to tell us,” he said.
Ghana’s total public debt stock jumped by 1.66 percent to hit GHS263.1 billion [$46.3bn] in July 2020, according to the latest Summary of Macroeconomic and Financial Data.
This represents about 68.3 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product, and is gradually nearing the dreaded 70% of GDP.
In June 2020, the nation’s debt [loans] was estimated at GHS258.8 billion, approximately 67.2 percent of GDP.
From the figures, the external component alone is estimated at GHS138 billion [$24.3bn], representing 35.8 percent of GDP.
The domestic component of the debt is also estimated at GHS125.1 billion, approximately 32.5% of GDP.
The financial sector resolution bond however constitutes GHS14.2 billion, which is equivalent to 3.7 percent of GDP.
Between January 2020 and July 2020, Ghana’s debt has shot up by 28.5%. In January 2020, the total public debt stock was GHS204.6 billion.