The Director of Elections for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, has bemoaned the ballooning debt stock of the country presided over by President Akufo-Addo.
According to him, considering how the then-candidate Akufo-Addo had tongue-lashed the Mahama government over the debt to GDP ratio, which stood at 64%, it is rather surprising that the incumbent government’s debt to GDP ratio stands at a staggering 81.47% and does not seem to be reducing any time soon.
“That for every 100 Ghana Cedis that we get as a country, almost ¢80 of that amount goes into payment of debt and salary. Apart from that, we have only ¢20 left for the things we need as a country. Is this sustainable?” he asked.
Speaking on JoyFM’s Top Story Friday, he explained that the Mahama-led government sought the International Monetary Fund (IMF) assistance to stabilise the country’s ballooning debt stock.
“If your debt to GDP ratio at that time was, let’s say, 62% and you had to go to the IMF, that meant maintaining that level,” he said.
He further stated that the abandonment of the IMF by the Akufo-Addo-led government in favour of borrowing through Eurobonds on the bond market was a risky venture for the country and could be dangerous for the economy.
“And today you’ve left the IMF or whatever it is, and you’re borrowing, and now you’re hitting 80%, which is not sustainable. You’ve left the IMF, and yet you’re doing Eurobonds. Does it not amount to the same debt?
“Or is it just the ceremony of leaving the IMF? You’ve left IMF, yet you’re borrowing on the open market. You’re doing Eurobonds which is even more costly, which is even more unsustainable; those are the issues,” he said.
Afriyie Ankrah expressed concern that without a clear plan or strategy for government to reverse the trend and ease the debt burden on the country, Ghana could be heading for a bleak future.
“The IMF has said it, independent entities have said it, our time it was 64%, you said it was not sustainable, you have come, and it’s 80%, and it keeps growing, and there is no sign, no strategy to show that you’re putting measures in place to reverse the trend,” he said.