According to Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, the debt increase of Prez. Akufo-Addo which is 137% between 2016 and 2020 is lower than Former Prez. John Mahama’s administrations and that of his predecessors.
Addressing the media amid the #FixTheCountry protest, the Finance Minister compared the debt level of President John Kufuor’s administration, the late former President John Mills and former President John Mahama administrations to draw the conclusion that Akufo-Addo’s administration has the lowest debt increase.
He said between, 2004 and 2008, Ghana’s debt stock increased by 30%. However, it was high between 2000 and 2004, a period in which the country obtained debt forgiveness from multilateral and bilateral institutions.
Also, between 2008 and 2012, the debt stock increased by 269%, whilst between 2012 and 2016, the increase in the debt stock was 243%.
“Between 2016 and 2020, the increase in Ghana’s debt stock was 137% (This includes the cost of the banking sector clean-up, excess capacity charges and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic)” Mr. Ofori-Atta said.
“We have financed the construction seven on going interchanges across the country, including those at Takoradi, Tamale, Tema, Obetsebi Lamptey and Pokuase to ease the traffic and enhance productivity.”
He said the rate of growth of the public debt has been lower under this government than under previous administrations despite the impact of the pandemic.
“The rate of debt growth was lower despite massive investments in our flagship programmes such as free SHS, Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ), NABCO, One District One Factory (1D1F), One Constituency One Ambulance, One Village One Dam (1V1D), restoration of teacher and nursing training allowances amongst others while maintaining relative macroeconomic and exchange rate stability.”
The total public debt had increased from GH¢122 billion (56.9% of GDP) in 2016 to GH¢291.6 billion (76.1% of GDP) at the end of December 2020.
Mr. Ofori-Atta said the debt stock and the debt/GDP ratio at the end of 2020 are as a result of non-recurrent burdens that the nation had to deal with as a matter of urgency.