yesterday approved the Annual Public Debt Management Report of the House’s
Finance Committee which revealed that Ghana’s total debt stock at the end of
December 2018 stood at GH¢173 billion from GH¢142.6 billion in 2017.
increase in the debt portfolio represents a debt to Gross Domestic Product
ratio (Debt-to-GDP) of 55.6 in 2017 to 57.9 in 2018 as rebased in 2017.
leading to the adoption of the report and its subsequent approval was not
without the characteristic battle of supremacy between the Majority and
Minority caucuses as to who are the better managers of the Ghanaian economy.
to the report in the possession of the Ghanaian Times, the United States
dollars-denominated constitutes 67.2 per cent, the Euro accounts for 18.6 per
cent, the Chinese Yuan, the Japanese Yen and the British Pounds represents 4.2,
2.3 and two per cent respectively.
currencies, including the Kuwait Dinar, Korean Wan and the Saudi Riyal, among
others made up for the 5.7 per cent.
the end of the 2018 financial year, which ended on December 31, commercial debt
accounted for the largest share of external debt, representing 50.6 per cent of
the total external debt portfolio,” the report, signed by the Chairman of
the Finance Committee, Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah stated.
outstanding Eurobonds, the 11-page report said, accounted for 27.9 per cent
whiles export credit agencies represented 6.9 per cent of the debt stock.
remaining portion of the external debt comes from multilateral and bilateral
sources,” the report read, adding that “multilateral debts, which are
mostly concessional terms, accounted for 35.8 per cent while bilateral debt
constituted 13.7 per cent.”
portion of the short-term debt – not exceeding a year’s tenor – in the
portfolio of domestic marketable debt, the report indicated, declined from 22.4
per cent in 2017 to 17.3 in 2018 in line with government’s debt strategy target
of short-term debt of between 15 to 20 per cent.
other hand, the proportion of medium-term debt, between two and 10 years tenor,
the report noted increased from 68.1 per cent to 75.2 in 2018.
motion for the adoption of the report, Mr Assibey-Yeboah said despite an
increment in the debt portfolio, the economy remained strong as credit
agencies’ rating of the economy continues to elicit positive outlook.
Minority Spokesperson on Finance and Ranking Member on the Finance Committee,
Casiel Ato Forson said there were high chances Ghana may not be able to service
its debt because the debt portfolio was deteriorating, accusing the government
of doing the opposite of what it promised in the run up to the 2016 general
Sustainability Analysis report of the International Monetary Fund and the World
Bank, for 2918, Forson, the National Democratic Congress lawmaker for
Ajumako/Enyan/Essiam said showed that Ghana’s level of accumulation of debt was
the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia of peddling falsehood about the
Ghanaian economy when at a recent townhall meeting he said the fiscal deficit
for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016 were 11.9, 6.7 and 9.3 percentage points
respectively when the Finance Ministry’s data showed that the deficit was 10.2,
6.4 and 8.3.
Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, disputing Mr Forson’s claim that the Nana Addo
Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s government was borrowing more said whilst the erstwhile NDC
government was borrowing at 26 and 22 per cent of the total debt in 2015 and
2016 respectively, the current government had reduced that to 16.6 per cent in
2017 to 14.5 per cent in 2018.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah,
NPP Member, Ofoase-Ayirebi, said some of the causes of the increase in the
debt, though not at the spate at which the previous government borrowed,
included the drawdown of old loans contracted by the John Mahama-led
administration as well as servicing of same.
“Mr Speaker, our debt position is healthier; our economy is in safe hands,” he said to cheers from his side of the House.
BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI
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