Minority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has described Ghana as a sinking ship that requires the collective contribution of all Ghanaians to rescue it.
Winding up on the debate on the 2015 budget and economic policy of government, the Minority Leader said the depreciating cedi and mounting debt resulting from excessive borrowing and disappointing growth in various sectors of the economy gives an indication of a clueless government.
“The country is over-borrowing and astronomically increasing our debt pile-up which has crossed the 60% threshold that developing countries with limited access to capital flows should worry about in terms of debt sustainability.” Since 2009 the NDC administration has borrowed over $27 billion, Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu asserted.
“There are recent loans that Parliament has approved which are not included in this rather humongous debt stock. If these are added we probably shall be talking about a debt stock of close to GH¢80billion,” he told the House.
In his analogy, even suing the current GH¢70 billion debt stock government has admitted owing, “it means each Ghanaian, including the child delivered as I speak now, owes GH¢3,500.ØØ. Last year at this time the burden for every Ghanaian was GH¢2,000. One year on, the debt per capita has increased by 75%”.
“Mr. Speaker these represent the gory circumstances of our economic fundamentals and if these represent bright prospects for the economy the gloomy prospects of which must be secured, then we need God Almighty to rescue us.”
He further stated, “We on this side of the House, will immediately file an urgent question for the Minister of Finance to provide the House and indeed the people of this country with a comprehensive list of all the projects financed by domestic and external borrowing and the respective amounts involved since 2009 to enable a proper accounting for the staggering increase in the debt stock.”
According to him, the energy crisis has weakened investors’ confidence in the economy and warns more Ghanaians may lose their jobs if immediate measures are not put in place to address the crisis.
But Majority Leader, Alban Bagbin on his part said government recognizes the challenges facing the economy and is on course to address them.
He however said the mounting debt facing the country is as a result of borrowing to finance many projects started by the NPP administration without sources of funding.
“The NPP embarked on six major road projects without any source of funding, this government was compelled to borrow money to pay for those projects,” he stressed.
The Finance Minister has however announced government will no longer pay for loans secured by state-owned enterprises.
He told parliament the move is geared towards ensuring that state enterprises become more productive and efficient in their finances.
Parliament has meanwhile approved the 2015 budget. The house will next week consider estimates for the various ministries, agencies and departments.