Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, the vice-presidential nominee of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), during his public lecture on the state of the Ghanaian economy, used economic information selectively in his analysis, therefore, the true picture of the economy was not painted by the former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Mr Seth Terkper, Minister of Finance, has said.
During the lecture, which was on the theme: ‘The State of the Ghanaian Economy – A Foundation of Concrete or Straw’ on Thursday September 8, Dr Bawumia, among other things, said: “By the end of 2008, following the adoption and implementation of the HIPC initiative, the government’s policy framework of fiscal discipline, the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio had declined from 189% in 2000 to 32% of GDP by 2008. Indeed from independence in 1957 to 2008, Ghana’s total debt was 9.5% billion cedis. However, in the last seven years alone under this NDC government, Ghana’s total debt has ballooned from GHS99.5 billion to GHS100billion in 2015, and GHS105 billion by May 2016. In fact, 66% of Ghana’s debt from independence has been accumulated under the presidency of John Mahama in just the last three and half years.”
But responding to this comment, Mr Terkper said: “If indeed the NDC borrowed $39.9 billion, then we are at 70 per cent. Even if I grant you 70 per cent of GDP which is below 40, then Ghana’s debt will be 28 billion dollars. Either you have a record performer of the NDC with paying debts in real terms from Dr Bawumia’s 47 billion to 28 billion; that will be a record; or as I said, Dr Bawumia is using information selectively. When it suits him, he holds the cedi to the dollar constant. When he goes on attack against the NDC, he relaxes that principle,” he said.
Mr Terkper said on Friday that when it comes to computations involving GDP, growth and other macroeconomic indicators must be used throughout in nominal terms or real terms.
“Dr Bawumia usually estimates at about US$9 billion to nearly $US40 billion at $US49 billion. Ghana’s debt-to-GDP ratio today, therefore, will be certainly more than 100 per cent. Everybody agrees that our debt-to-GDP ratio is not above 100 per cent,” he said.
“Everybody agrees to a figure at the end of last year of 72 per cent. And if you analyse this year’s figure, everybody will agree that our debt-to-GDP ratio has been going down and it’s between 63 and 43 per cent. If you add investment, growth is not above 100 percent,” Mr Terkper told Accra-based Citi FM on Friday September 9.