Ghana can’t afford to be adding more Debts – Finance Minister

Ken Ofori-Atta, the Finance Minister, says government will ensure that it does not add more debts to the heap of debt stock the country is bedeviled with.

Instead, the government will consider doing debt sustainability by closing up and prosecuting a lot of leakages to make sure that the country gets the revenue that it has to get, so as to avoid these debt stocks, he explained.

“By the third quarter of 2016, figures released by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) showed that the country’s debt stock had reached GH¢112.4 billion, representing 67.4 percent,” the Minister pointed out.

Mr. Ofori-Atta made these assertions yesterday, at the end of a two-day maiden National Policy Summit, which was held under the theme: ‘Building Partnerships for Growth and Jobs’, at the Accra International Conference Centre.

The National Policy Summit was to provide a platform for government ministries, departments and agencies to engage stakeholders and the private sector in their operations and to help the government elicit feedback to enhance further policy development.

Sometime in February, this year, Mr. Ofori Atta disclosed that Ghana’s debt, as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), had hit 74 percent.

That put Ghana’s GDP below its other colleagues in the ‘B’ rating, however, he said the government, in the last 120 days, has taken pragmatic steps by pursuing a type of branding that would profile its debt and eventually get control of the situation.

The strategy, the Minister said, would present Ghana to the world in a different way to win back the confidence of investors.

To do this, he said: “We are doing what is called an ‘Akufo-Addo Marshal plan’ to interrogate this issue of 30 billion debt to let the world see that we are a different country on a mission.

“We will, thus, negotiate a different engagement beyond simply just an IMF instrument of a billion dollar so that we can truly tackle the stock of debts with these resources.

“That way, we can make better notes for the growth of the private sector and eventually eliminate poverty.”

The bottom line, he noted, would be to increase revenue by leveraging the tax net so that the private sector can grow to enable government get the type of revenue it needs to carry out its development agenda, thereby reducing its debt stock.

To rake in more revenue, Mr. Ofori-Atta said drastic measures are being put in place to stop leakages in expenditure for revenue stability and growth.

Source: Maxwell Ofori || The Chronicle 

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