Ghana to be saddled with too many Loans

Myjoyonline reported that the Chinese Government has “dangled a staggering $15bn before the eyes of a government busy fighting off illegal miners including Chinese nationals. And we are being told that Dr Bawumia secured a loan of $2bn from the Chinese authorities. The current administration has already issued a $2.25bn controversial bond apart from other loans it has contracted since it took over.

Dr Bawumia and his boss Nana Akufo- Addo in opposition, chastised the Mahama administration over the loans the administration contracted for infrastructure improvement projects and promised Ghanaians if elected into office, loans acquisition will end instead, they will generate funds from the country’s natural resources. I see this shift from their earlier position as just repetition of what happened under Busia.

After years of attacks on Nkrumah, the Busia administration within a period of one year,.increased Ghana’s debt by $65.1m with nothing to show as assets which could help pay back the loans. Nkrumah constructed the ports, Ghana Airways, the silos, the numerous schools including the trust schools, many industries etc which raised funds to pay back the loans and still supporting revenue generation.

I am yet to reply Former President Kufour on his attack on Nkrumah but this must act as a teaser presiding the main response. Ghana experienced its first major balance of payment problem under Busia. He and his military friends scrapped trainees allowance, canceled free university education etc yet, could not manage the economy. We are going to see a repeat of what we witnessed under Busia and no matter the solid media empire it barracade itself with, the mess will come out for all to see.

We cannot discuss this issue without looking at the structure of the economy and the kind of promises the NPP made during their campaign. Ghana is an import dependent economy with very weak revenue collection system placing us in a very sensitive position when it comes to international trade and general global economic dynamics. The HIPIC initiative, supplemented by other multilateral debt relief initiatives helped Ghana cancel billions of dollars of our debts. The initiative itself was designed to help find solution to our debt burden.

Before the initiative we were forced to divert scarce resources to repay costly loans amassed by previous administrations. Some countries who benefited from the initiative effectively used their savings from their debt and Benin for instance invested in rural primary health care, HIV programmes, Tanzania abolished primary school fees and Mozambique began offering free immunization to children. President Kufour and his administration invested in HIPIC toilets and,jubilee parks,practically Ghanaians did not benefit from the relief in terms of profit making ventures.

Funds which were injected into the system such as the 700 million, the $25m etc for poverty alleviation programmes and to train our youth for meaningful employment were diverted into unproductive ventures and by 2005, Ghana’s unemployment rate had reached its worst point. Ghana’s import continue to increase and this trend invariably mounts a monumental incremental pressures and stress on the nation’s Kitty, we don’t prudently utilize our abundant natural resources and even the available cheap labour.

We continue to export our goods in their raw form and use substantial portion as collateral for loans we access. There is no pertinent strategy for improved manufacturing base which could eventually lead to an export oriented economy. These are the core realities facing the system yet, the Npp in their crave for power, made certain unrealistic promises whose implementation will definitely put the economy out of gear. Do you sincerely think it is a prudent policy to go for loans with complex strings attached, to pay for trainees allowance and school fees? How are the promised districts going to pay backs funds channeled into them, how are we going to pay back the annual $1m we going to give to the constituencies and into which profitable ventures are the people going to invest the funds into.

The system is already porous,weak supervision etc and no wonder Dr Bawumia himself addressing party folks at Cape Coast, advised them to monitor usage of the fund to avoid misappropriation by the handlers

The sad situation we find ourselves is that most of our clever journalists who are abreast with happenings across the globe have been rendered docile through the conditioning system.They rather offer their platforms to the politicians to perpetuate their evil agenda,our institutions of state have become appendixes of the executive,our legislature is partisanly structured and the principle of separation of powers thrown to the dogs so politicians in opposition, can promise the masses heaven only to daze them with well packaged rhetorics when they are voted into office.

Bawumia and his boss condemned the last administration and always centered their propaganda on liabilities without looking at assets acquired from the loans and policies implemented or designed to reduce our over dependence on external support such as the sinking fund, the heritage fund and the policy which made some state agencies responsible for loans they contract these and other prudent measures culminated in the low spending in the pay of interest on loans of around 9b ghc as against capital expenditure in 2015.

Yea we experienced budget overruns in 2012 but prudent measures instituted, restored confidence into the economy. What we’ve witnessing will surely disrupt economic steadiness and create serious problems for subsequent regimes. Ironically, these people use Singapore when making their projections forgetting that Singapore is where it is today because of policy continuation. The NPP administration has abrogated almost all contracts signed under the previous regime, sacked worker, professionals etc in the name of job for the boys which was heavily trumpeted by Sammy Awuku in opposition.

That is the trick politicians and binding contractors adopt to make fresh monies and primitive capital but unfortunately, partisan politics and hate for previous regimes blind people from seeing the mess when emerging. What were the strings attached to the loan? How is it going to affect the current galamsey fight going on, it effect on our local industries etc.

The people must be in the know, government cannot continue putting stakeholders at the backdoor and push our scanty information to serve its propaganda agenda…

Source: Ohenenana Obonti Krow

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