Dr. Kobby Mensah of the University of Ghana has stated that the issue of whether the government has borrowed more or otherwise is settled by the government’s own statistics as shared with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
He added in a tweet dated April 5 that it was, therefore, surprising that some persons who are not in government will seek to present a different narrative on government borrowing.
Dr. Mensah’s views come in the wake of remarks by National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Stephen Ntim, who whiles addressing a press conference in Accra (April 4) suggested that the government has not over borrowed.
He stressed that the NPP compared to the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) had borrowed less.
Dr. Mensah’s tweet read: “My surprise is the office in charge of the country’s finances and it’s minister during IMF process give out numbers that shows Govt has borrowed more. Yet, an office and officer nowhere close coming to argue that they’ve rather borrowed less. Eii Ghana.”
Ghana is meanwhile undergoing external debt restructuring as part of conditionalities for an International Monetary Fund loan facility of US$3 billion. Government earlier this year managed to secure a Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP) also an IMF conditionality.
Government approached the fund last year amid an economic squeeze brought on by a depreciating currency, galloping inflation, rise in the general cost of living, government being shut out of the international capital market and suffering multiple economic downgrades.
Whiles the opposition insisted that the headwinds were as a result of wanton borrowing and mismanagement, the government blamed the malaise on the aftershocks of COVID-19 as well as the Russia-Ukraine war.
Government and the NPP have serially promised to do all it takes to put the economy back on track.