Ghana's finance minister roots for borrowing so long as it meets these criteria

Ghana’s finance minister, Ken Ofori-Atta says the Akufo-Addo administration will continue to borrow to build the country, despite concerns about the country’s debt.

Ghana’s finance minister, Ken Ofori-Atta

According to him, it is important for a government who wants its country to grow do the needful to enhance the growth.

“Borrowing is not bad if you have the resources to be able to pay it back and the balance that you achieve. As to where the resources will come from, you scan the international market including your own domestic scene and figure out how you are going to do that,” he said.

Ghana’s debt went up by GH¢22 billion in the last four months to bring the total to GH¢198 billion which is 57% of GDP.

But as the government prepares to start the process of rolling out an ambitious 38-year developmental programme, Ken Ofori Atta believes it is not out of place for the Akufo-Addo administration to continue borrowing.

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) criticised the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for “excessive borrowing” while it (NPP) was in opposition and promised to be more responsible with the public purse.

The public debt as the time NPP took over was about GH¢122 billion by the end of 2016. It represented 74 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Within three years, it has risen by GH¢76 billion.

The Finance Minister has however argued in an interview that the current generation revenue is inadequate to sustain the country's developmental agenda.

He said, “Our needs are extensive,” adding that, “Any project requires both equity and debt which have to be efficiently combined to good effect to ensure you generate the revenue to support what you have borrowed.”

He further argued that developed countries like Japan are 300% of debt over GDP and they are able to do that because they have built infrastructure to be able to generate revenue for that.

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