Ghana’s debt stock hits ¢291bn; COVID-19 a contributing factor

Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu
Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Ghana’s public debt stock currently stands at ¢291.6 billion, about 76.1% of the country’s Gross Domestic Products, the government has said.

This was disclosed by a caretaker Minister for Finance Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu while presenting the country’s 2021 budget statement on Friday, March 12, 2021.

This is about 20% rise as compared to 2016 where the debt stock was ¢122 billion and a GDP of 56.9%

In explaining what accounted for the debt stock, the Majority Leader said fiscal impact of covid-19 was GHc 19.7 billion, cost of financial sector clean-up was GHc 21 billion while GHc 12 billion was the cost of Excess Capacity charges paid to IPPs.

Without aforementioned factors, debt stock would be targeting GHc 238.9billion with 58.7 of GDP. The revision of growth rate is from an average of 7% between 2017-2019 to 0.9% in 2020.

Between 2004 and 2008, Ghana’s debt stock increased by 30% under the Kufuor led NPP Administration. Between 2008-2012 the debt stock jumped to 269% under the Mills NDC administration and 243% between 2012 and 2016 under the Mahama NDC government. Between 2016 to 2020, the country’s debt stock has risen to 137% under the Akufo-Addo administration.

Finance Minister calls for debt forgiveness

In September 2020, Ghana’s public debt stock hit ¢273.8 billion.

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta at a recent IMF/ World Bank meeting called for debt forgiveness and cancellation for vulnerable and debt distressed countries in the world.

Mr Ofori-Atta said the countries needed the gesture to help empower them financially to be able to protect lives and rescue their economies from the impact of the ravaging coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

If the Bretton Wood institutions in particular heed to call, the nation’s debt will go down appreciably.

Source: Daily Mail GH

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