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State of the Nation Address Ghana's public debt hits GH¢122bn - Nana Addo

According to him, Ghana’s economy is currently in a bad way despite the previous government having more than 10 times the financial resources

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President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo play

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said the public debt stock now stands at GH¢122 billion, due to the past government’s borrowing.

According to him, Ghana’s economy is currently in a bad way despite the previous government having more than 10 times the financial resources that any other government has had at its disposal.

READ MORE: We will address import challenges – Nana Addo

"As at the beginning of 2009, Ghana’s total debt stock was GH¢9.5 billion. By the end of 2016, the debt had ballooned to GH¢122 billion… Ghana’s debt stock now stands at 74% of GDP, after all the previous denials to the contrary," he said.

Speaking at his maiden State of the Nation Address to parliament, he said "In fact, 92% of Ghana’s total debt stock was incurred in the last eight years under the previous government."

Analysts say the level of the debt will undoubtedly increase Ghana’s already high risk of debt distress and further throw its fiscal consolidation programme out of gear.

READ ALSO: Ghana and Morocco deepen ties with new economic deals

Efforts to tame the fiscal deficit cannot yield the desired results if the country’s debt keeps rising.

Nana Addo said the combination of higher expenditures and lower revenues than projected resulted in a significant increase in the budget deficit for 2016.

 

"Fiscal indiscipline, once again, reared its head in the 2016 election year. Total projected expenditure for 2016 was GH¢43.9 billion (26% of GDP) but actual expenditure amounted to GH¢50.3 billion (30.2% of GDP).

READ MORE: Gov’t halts issuance of Ghc700m 3-yr bond

"It appears, from what we are finding out, that some GH¢7 billion of arrears and outstanding payments circumvented public financial management system. The total revenue target for our country was GH¢37.9 billion (22.7% of GDP) but the actual revenue came in at GH¢33.2 billion (19.9% of GDP).

He noted that "It should be recalled that, at the time Ghana entered into the IMF program to restore fiscal discipline, the fiscal deficit was 10.2% of GDP. It is very clear, therefore, that the Mahama government did not achieve the objectives set out in the programme."

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