The President John Dramani Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration has etched its name in Ghana’s political history as a government that heaped so much debt on the people of Ghana to the tune of GHC96.1 billion over a period of eight years.
When the Kufuor administration was leaving office in 2009, the country’s total debt stock from the Gold Coast era stood at GH¢9.5 billion and the NDC, then in opposition, gave the NPP a good bashing for that record.
But between 2009 and 2016, the best legacy the NDC administration could bequeath Ghanaians is a whopping GHC96.1 billion with yet an untamed desire to swell it further by the end of the year.
As at May this year, the total debt stock of the country stood at GH¢105.1 billion, according to data from the Bank of Ghana with average monthly borrowing from January of GHC1.2 billion.
Most of the borrowings go into capital projects which are mostly inflated; the reason why key sectors of the economy like energy are suffering.
This year alone government is earmarking over GH¢10 billion to service debt – almost the same amount of money for paying emoluments of entire government workers.
A recent Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) report of the Bank of Ghana revealed the unfortunate situation which Ghanaians have been subjected to by the government and which this generation, and those yet unborn, are expected to pay by hook or crook.
Even though government has shamelessly continued to tout itself as exhibiting good economic management skills, it has been borrowing between GH¢600 million and GHC800 million every week.
At the end of December last year, the government announced that the debt stock was GHC97.2 billion, representing a debt -to-GDP of 72.1 percent, far higher than the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF’s) debt risk threshold; but the Central Bank’s figure gave a totally different picture.
The BoG argued that the economic expansion activities were responsible for the drop in debt-to-GDP ratio released recently; but analysts have indicated that there is not too much to show by way of economic expansion since a lot of businesses have rolled up.
Many workers have lost their jobs, especially from the worsening power crisis that has plagued the country for more than four years.
Debt From January
Since January this year, the country’s debt has been exceeding GH¢1 billion month-on-month.
In January, the debt was GH¢101.1 billion while in February it increased to GH¢102.3 billion.
In March, it rose to GH¢103.1 billion as compared to GH¢104.5 billion in April.
The country’s total public debt stock reached GH¢105.1 billion at the end of May, this year, representing 66.4 percent of GDP as against GH¢104.5 billion at the end of April 2016, representing 66.3 percent of GDP.
Out of the total stock, debt incurred internally was GHC43.2 billion, representing 27.3 percent of GDP, while the external debt stock stood at GHC61.9 billion, representing 39.1 percent of GDP.
On November 7, this year, the country goes to the polls to elect a new government and the NDC government is still insisting that it deserves another mandate despite the debt it has heaped on the country.
A lot of Ghanaians have indicated that they are tired of government paying lip service to finding solutions to the economic problems bedeviling the country.