The flagbearer of the opposition New Patriotic Party Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo has advised the Mills led administration, to “borrow responsibly” looking at total amount of loans that Ghana has borrowed since the NDC assumed office.
According to Nana Akufo-Addo, “10 billion dollars worth of loans have been approved by parliament since President Mills took over, the danger with this development id three fold, lack of adequate value for money assessment, depth sustainability issues and insufficient preparedness on how these loans must be spent”.
The NPP flagbearer further indicated that “according to the Bank of Ghana, at the end of June 2011, Ghana’s total domestic debt was 10.8 billion Ghana cedis, showing an increase of 30 percent over the previous 6 months alone and this was before the recent bond issue of 300 million Ghana cedis at 14 percent interest rate.
"Ghana’s external debt stood at 4 billion at the end of 2008.
“This is be wising but oil gives us that physical space to borrow more money to speed our development, the point however is that we must proceed more wisely”.
Nana Akufo-Addo went on further to state that “we may have to re-visit our HIPC experience if we do not borrow responsibly”.
The leader of the main opposition was speaking at the maiden edition of the Danquah Institute Lectures on the topic “Building a Society of Opportunities” where he lamented the excessive borrowing of the current government saying that “this NDC government has had plenty of resources at its disposal because of the expanded economy it inherited”.
He asked in the local parlance “na sika no wohi” meaning where is the money?
“What has been the impact of these massive resources on the lives of the people, where are the projects?
“Parliament has unique constitutional powers to authorise government to raise and spend public money and also has the responsibility on behalf of the public to hold government to account for this spending.
"This work goes to the heart of good governance and it is critical to the fight against corruption.
“Accountability is key to development. The minority deserves commendation rather than condemnation for living up to their responsibility of insisting on financial scrutiny”.
Touching on the recently passed 3 billion dollar Chinese loan agreement by Parliament, Nana Akuffo Addo indicated that “it is the duty of our government to get the best deal for Ghana.
"This does not appear to be the case in this 3 billion dollar facility plus the 450 million dollars or 15 percent counter funding from government.
"The agreement of this MRA obliges us to play immediately before any disbursement is made.
“A 30 million dollar commitment fee, a 7.5 million dollar upfront fee...
"Yet there is no guarantee that Ghana would be able to meet the stringent oil swap arrangement to meet the disbursement of the entire 3 billion facility within the 6 years stated.
“A commercial loan facility such as this that guarantees a minimum of 60 percent Chinese content rather than a minimum of 40 percent local content cannot be the best.
Nana Akufo-Addo in his speech had a set of questions for the government given indications that due diligence was not done in done before Ghana went in for the loan.
“What stopped government from pursuing other funding options as well instead of lumping all these projects under one omnibus facility?
“Why are we not considering the option of leveraging some these resources to ensure private sector participation and thereby reducing government of Ghana exposure?
“What is stopping government from peeling off some these projects and funding them directly from our oil revenues? He asked.
He however indicated that “voters agree and God willing the next NPP government will take office with a clear program of action for the industrialisation of Ghana”.
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