Ghanaians are suffering due to Akufo-Addo’s constant borrowing; he’s responsible for 60% of the public debt” – Ato Forson

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Ghanaians are suffering due to Akufo-Addo’s constant borrowing; he’s responsible for 60% of the public debt" – Ato Forson

Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, the Ranking Member of Parliament’s Finance Committee, claims that the Akufo-Addo-Bawumia administration is responsible for 60% of Ghana’s total debt stock.

Dr Forson stated at a Policy Dialogue organized by the Minority in Parliament at the University of Professional Studies in Accra that President Akufo-tenure Addo’s accounts for GHS171.22 billion, or 60%, of Ghana’s public debt of GHS291 billion as of December 2020.

He stated that the completion of the HIPC initiative resulted in total debt relief of GHS 5.5 billion, reducing President Agyekum Kufuor’s end-period debt to just over GHS800 million, while Presidents Atta Mills and Mahama added GHS 26.2 billion and GHS 84 billion, respectively.

He explained that the country’s current debt position had put it on an unsustainable path that needed to be addressed immediately.

Dr Forson, who is also a Member of Parliament for the Ajumako Enyan Essiam Constituency, warned that unless drastic measures are taken to stem the current tide, Ghana risks defaulting on its debt service obligations and sinking deeper into an economic crisis.

According to the ranking member, the government’s “reckless borrowing” is to blame for economic failures that have resulted in an unprecedented 15.2 per cent deficit and an asphyxiating debt overhang.

According to Dr Ato Forson, desperate efforts by the Akufo-Addo-Bawumia administration to blame “COVID-19, its self-inflicted mismanagement are simply excuses to escape responsibility for its failures.”

“A careful analysis of key debt sustainability indicators provide ample evidence that prior to COVID-19 (i.e. before March 2020), Ghana’s public debt was on an unsustainable trajectory.”

He claimed that the difficulties Ghanaians are experiencing are the direct result of the government’s mismanagement of the economy and populism.

Dr Forson stated at a press conference on Monday, July 26, 2021, that in addition to more than doubling the inherited debt from independence from GHS120 billion to over GHS291 billion in its first term, the Akufo-Addo administration worsened Ghana’s debt to GDP ratio by raising it from 56 per cent in 2016 to 76.8 per cent by the end of the year 2020.

“This was against the fact that the NPP in opposition faulted the NDC for operating at 56%, which was below the recommended threshold of 70%. The Akufo-Addo administration also worsened Ghana’s ability to repay its debt. At the end of 2020, Ghana’s total public debt was more than five times its domestic revenue”, Dr Forson noted.

 

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