The vice presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has said President John Mahama needs proper briefing on the true state of borrowing over the past seven years.
The former deputy governor of the Bank of Ghana was replying Mahama who subtly told the NPP stalwart his lies cannot win them power, having maintained over the years that the true extent of the NDC borrowing stands at $37 billion.
“Our President, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama, has recently made statements about Ghana’s public debt stock, the most recent being yesterday. Those statements clearly show that President needs a bit more briefing about Ghana’s public debt stock,” Dr Bawumia told students of the Jasikan College of Education in the Volta region.
He added: “In the last seven years alone under this NDC government, Ghana’s total debt has ballooned from GH¢9.5 billion to a projected GH¢99 billion by the end of 2015! What is clear is that 90% (i.e. GHC89.5 billion) of Ghana’s total debt since independence has been accumulated under this NDC government between 2009-2015 i.e. the last seven years.”
“What is most shocking (and also a clear manifestation of a problem in economic management) is that His Excellency President Mahama clearly does not know the value of exactly how much this NDC government has borrowed in the last eight years. It is so sad that this has even become an issue for debate. Sadly, the two public comments President Mahama has recently made on Ghana’s public debt are patently false and I am sure if His Excellency was properly briefed, he would not subject himself to such embarrassment,” Dr Bawumia emphasised.
“A few months ago, President Mahama, stated in Ho that 41% of Ghana’s external debt of $14 billion was accumulated by the NPP government between 2001 and 2008. This is clearly a falsehood.
“The truth is that as a result of the HIPC initiative and prudent borrowing, Ghana’s external debt stock actually declined from $6.1 billion in 2000 to $3.8 billion by 2008 (the first time in history). The debt has since increased by $10.2 to $14 billion in 2015. So how is what the President said in Ho possible? The facts therefore show that 72% of Ghana’s external debt stock and 90% of Ghana’s total debt stock was accumulated during the last seven years,” he noted.
“The President’s false data on the debt situation suggests either unwillingness on his part to be honest with the Ghanaian people on the reckless borrowing and where it has landed us or the possibility that his economic advisors do not tell him the whole truth and thus, he does not appreciate the true scale of the mess.
“Secondly, President Mahama said yesterday that it was mathematically impossible for this NDC government to borrow $37 billion since Ghana’s debt stock was $24 billion. Again, he is so very wrong. I have noted on many occasions that the actual value of the debt in dollar terms estimated at the dollar value of the debt at the time of borrowing is some $37 billion. This simple fact seems completely lost on President Mahama. What President Mahama needs to appreciate is that there is a big difference between the value of the debt in dollar terms at the time you borrowed the money and its book value several years later when currency depreciation is factored in,” the running mate to Akufo-Addo noted.