Former President and standard-bearer of opposition National Democratic Congress, John Dramani Mahama has challenged Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President and candidate of the New Patriotic Party, NPP, in next month’s presidential election, to give an account of how he spent the accrued to his administration through borrowing with tangible projects.
He alleged that Akufo-Addo’s government has borrowed more than GH¢157 billion, excluding regular funds from the sales of crude (Energy Sector Levy-ESLA), Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund, and others.
Mr. Mahama contends that whereas there are multiple infrastructural projects to account for his borrowings, his arch-rival in the upcoming polls, Akufo-Addo who has incurred more debts in history has barely anything to account for in his fourth and final year.
“What have you done with GH¢157 billion? If you ask me to render accounts of what I used the GH¢56 billion loans I contracted for, I have a chain of projects in the system to mention. The Kwame Nkrumah Circle Interchange, Kasoa Interchange, Tema Harbour expansion, Regional hospitals, Kejetia, and other critical road projects among others will speak for the additional debt I added in my administration,” he said at a rally at Adabraka in Accra.
He noted that President Akufo-Addo has achieved too little for the number of resources he has expended over the past four years.
For him, it’s meaningful that borrowed money is used for real infrastructure development and investment than to dissipate it into mere consumption.
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.
Tackling the government jobs for family and friends, he noted that he never awarded a contract to his brother Ibrahim Mahama.
To him, the work Ibrahim did on the Odaw River was for free because he personally wanted to help the people of Accra to deal with floods.
“Give me one evidence of a contract that I gave to my brother to dredge the Odaw river. My brother was doing the project free of charge, he never charged a pesewa but you had leading figures of the NPP saying I gave the contract worth GHS 200 million.”
“They said I had built hotels in Dubai, I have ships in Tokyo, they said DKM was mine.
“If I have hotels is in Dubai I dare them to go and look for it, sell it and come and invest the money in Ghana’s economy,” he said