“There has been a lot of noise about the state of Ghana’s indebtedness. This is just noise. A lot of it is just noise; empty noise and it is calculated at throwing dust into the eyes of the Ghanaian people” said Editor of the “Insight” newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr.
The renowned journalist said this in reaction to the recent press conference organized by the minority in parliament on the state of the country’s economy.
The Minority, led by MP for Tafo Pankrono, Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei, at a press conference in Parliament on Thursday expressed worry about the rate at which the ruling government is borrowing (rate of GH˘1.1 billion per month) saying it could collapse the economy.
At the said press conference, the former Minister of State in charge of Finance stated that the " economic situation has now deteriorated into complete crisis" warning that the country risks losing its B+ credit rating. According to him, the country is at a 49.5% debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio and that means the country is on the verge of crossing the 50% threshold.
"There is now consensus, even within government, that the economic situation has now deteriorated into complete crisis....It also needs to be pointed out that this 49.5% debt ratio means the country is on the verge of crossing the 50% threshold. Beyond this threshold, international credit rating agencies will downgrade our credit rating,"
However, speaking on Radio Gold’s political discussion programme, “Alhaji and Alhaji”, Kwesi Pratt posited that Minority’s assessment of the current state of the economy is just “calculated at throwing dust into the eyes of the Ghanaian people”. To him, talk of Ghana’s state of indebtedness is just for “political expediency” and “empty noise”.
“....they (Minority) are saying the debt to GDP ratio is 49.5%; that itself is contestable…for developing countries like Ghana, the alarm bell starts ringing at the point where the GDP ratio is 60%. So from the statistics that they themselves are giving, Ghana is about 10% clear in that zone and yet they deliberately create the impression that we have arrived at the danger zone and that Ghana might be returning to HIPC,” Kwesi Pratt said.
He said the question of what the money has been used for (as asked by the minority) is mischievous because government has “invested the money into infrastructural development; road construction and so on” and advised that government announces it so that Ghanaians will know that the money has been used for development.
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