President John Dramani’s recent comments on Ghana’s debt stock have angered the Minority in Parliament who believe he does not understand the country’s debt issues.
The President, while addressing party [NDC] faithfuls at a forum in Cape Coast in the Central Region, rejected claims that his administration is only interested in piling up Ghana’s debt stock.
According to him, the Minority always overly over blow Ghana’s debt issues because, they add debts owed by state enterprises to the country’s debt stock, thus shooting the figure up.The President’s comments have however been watered down by the Minority.
Citi FM’s Richard Dela Sky reported that the Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Anthony Akoto Osei, in reaction to the President’s comment said, “the President does not understand the nation’s debt situation.”
According to Sky, the Minority at a press conference also alleged that they had discovered “new facts that prove that government has been hiding some of the nation’s debt in order to make the order of the debt situation with the country look good.”
Giving examples to support its claims, the Minority, in a statement indicated that government had “securitised” its arrears to SSNIT without recourse to Parliament.
“It also emerged from the review that the government at the end of December 2014, securitised its arrears to SSNIT in the tune of 914 million cedis. Parliament was not informed and has not been up to date. As a result of the behind the curtain securitisation of the arrears, the fiscal deficit for 2014 has been revised upwards from 9.4% to 10.3% of GDP.
“There have been double digits fiscal deficits for 3 back to back years which have never been seen before in this country. For the avoidance of doubt, the non recourse of Parliament in securitising its debt to SSNIT is unacceptable. Parliament must probe into the securitisation of government’s debt to SSNIT, ” the statement indicated.
Ghana’s total debt stock increased by GHc5 billion more, between May and June 2015.
According to figures from the Bank of Ghana, the country’s total debt stock now stands at GHc94.5 billion, representing 70.9% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).