Govt Shifting Burden of Debt and Macroeconomic Instability to Ghanaians and Private Sector - Economist

Professor Godfred Alufar Bokpin, a Financial Economist at the University of Ghana (UG) says the ruling government seems to be shifting the "burden of debt and micro-economic instability to the citizen and the private sector".

Domestic debt exchange programme

This programme seeks to help restore macroeconomic stability. However, there have been concerns that this will bring 'haircut' leading to more hardship for Ghanaians.

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta giving full details of the programme, said there will be no 'haircut' adding, "Treasury bills are completely exempted and all holders will be paid the full value of their investments on maturity. There will be no haircut on the principal of bonds. Individual holders of bonds will not be affected”.

Speaking to Kwami Sefa Kayi in an interview on Peace FM's morning show 'Kokrokoo', Prof Bokpin said: "What this tells you is that the state is actually shifting the burden of the debt and macroeconomic instability to the citizen and the private sector. So the state in terms of the government is not doing enough and that is where the pain is coming from".

"When we talk about burden sharing one would expect that leadership will lead by example and internalise the austerity to demonstrate to the market that I understand where we are and I am willing to pay that price but the 2023 budget doesn’t do enough of that . . . so in order to crawl back, the debt operation will now have to be steep," he added. 

2023 budget approved

Meanwhile, the Economist believes approval of the 2023 budget statement of government "is an important first step".

However, "there will still be a need for some level of fiscal adjustment that will be necessary for moving us closer to greater economic recovery . . . where we are some level of sacrifice would have to be made, we don't have a choice now".