The Minority in Parliament is demanding an independent audit of the country’s public debt to ensure transparency and consistency.
According to Minority leader, Haruna Iddrisu, the Akufo-Addo led government’s penchant for borrowing is getting out of hand given that Ghana has been classified by the Economic Commission for Africa as one of the top eight countries in Africa that are in debt distress.
The latest Summary of Economic and Financial data released by the Bank of Ghana has pegged the country’s total debt at GH¢236.1 billion as against last year’s figure of GH₵217 billion as captured in the annual public debt management report for 2019.
It is in the light of this that the opposition MPs want an independent body to evaluate the country’s debt in a bid to promote transparency and clear all lingering doubts.
Contributing to the adoption of the report of the Finance Committee on the annual public debt management, the Tamale South MP called for proper scrutiny of the figures to put matters to rest over the country’s actual debt stock.
“Public debt as has been reported by the Bank of Ghana stood at GH₵236 billion against what the NPP government inherited in 2017 January at GH₵122 billion. It means the government has doubled the public debt in three and half years, what I will ask for is an independent audit of Ghana’s public debt given the debate going as to what is reported to the IMF, what is reported by the Statistical Service. We are asking for an independent audit of Ghana’s public debt because all the ratios: debt to GDP, debt as a percentage of revenue, we will appreciate it better when we know where we stand in respect of our public debt,” he said on the floor of the House on Thursday, June 25, 2020.
The Minority leader also insisted that the continuous borrowing by the government will balloon the debt.
“Interest service alone is GH₵21 billion and the same country which is servicing its debt struggles to raise GH₵3 billion to finance Free Senior High School – so it means that we must watch the growth of our public debt, we must protect the citizens of Ghana from increased debt” he explained.