Politics

Minority Statement on President Akufo-Addo’s Reckless Borrowing

MINORITY STATEMENT ON PRESIDENT AKUFO-ADDO’S RECKLESS
BORROWING AND BALLOONING NATIONAL DEBT.
YOU CAN DO ALL THE PROPAGANDA ABOUT THE COSMETIC FISCAL DEFICIT
NUMBERS, BUT THE PUBLIC DEBT WILL SHOW YOUR SMOOTHNESS LEVEL.
1) The Minority Caucus in Parliament has noted the latest report of the Monetary Policy
Committee of the Bank of Ghana and taken notice of the current national debt which
stands at almost GHS 200 billion as of the end of the first quarter of 2019.
2) The GHS 200 billion national debt represents an increase of about GHS 80 billion in
the last two and half years alone by President Akufo-Addo and has raised the debt to
GDP ratio from 56% in 2016 to almost 58%.
3) We draw attention to the change since 2016 for three (3) reasons related to the
Mahama era. First, there was the promise not to borrow. Second, the NPP has
benefited from a 25 percent bonus or increase in GDP, due to the rebasing exercise.
Third, the NPP inherited two (2) additional oil fields (Sankofa and TEN) that has
almost tripled output and at an average 60 percent price increase.
4) At current exchange rate levels, borrowing alone has given President Akufo-Addo a
staggering $16 billion over the period. It is instructive to note that this figure does not
include the GHS 5.7 billion borrowed under the ESLA Bonds last year.
5) As reported by Bloomberg last week, our current public debt is the highest in four
years and makes Ghana one of the countries with the greatest debt distress risks in the
world.
6) Surprisingly, as noted earlier, this is a government that has benefited more in terms of
oil revenues received since 2017. From Table 1 below, the total oil revenue that has
been received between 2017 and 2018 and is expected to be received in 2019
currently stands at GHC 12,328,703.024.81.
2
Table 1: Total oil revenue receipt
Year
Company
Taxes on Oil
o/w
Royalties
from Oil
Dividend/Inter
est & Profits
from Oil
Surface
Rentals
from
Oil/PHF
Interest
Gas
Receip
ts

2017

224,744,578.1
0
589,491,139.8
6

1,585,615,698.
14

7,861,686.0
9
0
2018

735,742,317.2
4

1,213,125,518
.82

2,530,760,568.
23

11,803,196.
32
0
2019Bud
get

1,254,227,042
.00

1,141,179,871
.00

3,028,460,719.
00

5,690,690.0
0
0
Total

2,214,713,937
.35

2,943,796,529
.68

7,144,836,985.
37

25,355,572.
41
0
TOTAL
OIL
REVEN
UE

12,328,703,024.81
Source: Extracts from MoF fiscal data1
7) The Minority Caucus is deeply concerned about the reckless borrowing of the NPP
Government. This extent of borrowing marks a betrayal of the trust reposed in the
President after he and his then Vice-Presidential candidate promised in opposition not
to borrow because according to them, we had all the resources needed to finance our
development.
8) Not only has the President’s insatiable appetite for borrowing exposed that promise as
hollow, it also shows that he and his team do not possess the competence they claimed
to have to generate domestic revenue to finance the national budget.
9) It is even more worrying that despite this unprecedented level of borrowing, President
Akufo-Addo does not have any significant capital investments to show unlike his
predecessor, President Mahama, who invested borrowed funds in major capital

1 https://www.mofep.gov.gh/fiscal-data
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investments across all sectors of the economy from education, health, housing, roads,
railways, energy, communications, aviation, transport among others.
10) Almost all major projects that are currently ongoing are those for which funding was
secured under President Mahama or had begun under him. President Akuffo-Addo’s
inability to show any tangible outcomes for the excessive borrowing raises serious
concerns about the prudence of his borrowing decisions. We recall how in opposition,
he and his Running Mate falsely claimed that the then NDC government was
spending on consumption and that they could not see what was being done with the
funds.
11) We note that in addition to this heavy borrowing, President Akufo Addo has had more
money at his disposal than all other governments and should have done far more than
is being done currently.
12) An analysis of the three budget statements presented since 2017, shows that tax
revenue alone has brought in about GHS 113.4 billion ($ 21.4 billion at current
exchange rate) in the last two and half years as indicated in Table 2 below.
Table 2: Total tax revenue
YEAR Tax Revenue Grants
2017 30,424,202,726.60 1,534,852,216.07
2018 37,784,185,991.16 1,134,805,592.00
2019Budget 45,270,182,441.00 1,109,865,516.35
Total
113,478,571,158.76
$21.4 billion
3,779,523,324.42
$713.11 million
Source: Extracts from MoF fiscal data
13) In addition to this, GHC3,779,523,324.42($713.03 million) has been received in the
form of grants since 2017—by a government that projects an end to foreign
assistance, obviously as a slogan. Put together, President Akufo-Addo has had over
GHS 200 billion and yet is unable to point to anything of significance since coming to
power.
14) Government’s issuance calendar for the second quarter of this year shows that another
GHS 12.1 billion will be borrowed with a net amount of
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public debt will rise to about GHS 250 billion in a year by this time. This is an
addition of about GHS 130 billion.
15) The current spate of borrowing threatens to erode the fiscal space provided by the
rebasing of the economy started in 2016 and which was concluded in September
2018. It is obvious that the President views rebasing as an opportunity to engage in
unbridled borrowing aimed at consumption related expenditure.
16) Not only is he unable to show any significant capital investment, President AkufoAddo has in spite of all the resources available to him, been unable to fulfill most of
his campaign promises and has resorted to sophistry and deceit to explain away this
failure.
17) The “One District, One-factory” promise has turned out to be a mirage with less than
ten factories worked on from scratch in two and half years. Strangely enough, private
and existing factories are being hijacked and passed off as evidence of the fulfilment
of the promise. We wish to make clear that Ghanaians will demand nothing more than
254 factories built from scratch exactly as the President promised—and restored
caveat of “no borrowing”.
18) The “One-Village, One-Dam” promise also lies in shambles at the moment as the
thousands of promised dams have not been built. A handful of dugouts presented as
dams have become a source of ridicule for the government as they have been washed
away after moderate rainfall.
19) Under the “One million dollars per constituency” promise, a total of $ 825 million or
GHS 4.1 billion was expected to have been disbursed to all 275 Constituencies by
close of this year. That amount has not been forthcoming and from all indications it
will remain yet another broken promise.
20) Even for the flagship FSHS programme, we see appalling condition and gigantic
effort to beat a retreat from the “track” regime.
21) This abject failure cannot be accepted in the wake of the over GHS 200 billion
President Akufo Addo has had. We demand that the President and his government
render a detailed account of how all the funds received has been disbursed.
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22) It is very worrying that the huge sums of money borrowed is not used to support
domestically financed capital expenditure.
Table 3: Capital expenditure and ABFA
EXPENDITURE
ITEM
2017 2018 2019Budget
Capital expenditure 6,331,410,664.5
0
4,738,334,834.4
7
8,531,017,247.12
Domestically Finance 1,020,993,593.1
2
1,682,807,817.6
7
3,222,211,329.77
ABFA – 406,623,728.61 1,265,335,243.00
Domestically Finance
less ABFA
1,020,993,593.1
2
1,276,184,089.0
6
1,956,876,086.77
Source: Extracts from MoF fiscal data
23) What is more worrisome is the fact that the government’s excessive borrowing has
triggered rigidity pressures emanating from the cost of debt service due to rising
interest payment and amortization. Published fiscal data for the first quarter of 2019
shows that government tax revenue cannot even pay for debt service and as well cover
the wage bill. Clearly, from Figure 1 below, the cost of debt service and the wage bill
cost in the last three (3) years has exceeded our tax revenue.
Figure 1: Debt service including wage bill as a ratio of tax revenue
Source: Extracts from MoF fiscal data
108%
101%
113%
2017 2018 2019Q1
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24) To conclude, let me remind the citizenry that the addition of GHS 80 billion to the
National debt stock by the NPP government does not includes the following:
a) new borrowings of $750 million of commercial loans earmarked for this year;
b) GNPC new borrowings of $200 million, and
c) the Governments request for Getfund to borrow $1.5 billion
25) What an epidemic of borrowings! It is obvious, that contrary to the lofty talk.
President Akufo-Addo and his government lacks the capacity to keep to their promise
of not borrowing, they have no new or exceptional economic management ability
beyond the empty talk and are mortgaging the destiny of our future generations to
reckless borrowing decisions.
26) We remind the President that when you do propaganda with cosmetic fiscal
deficit numbers, the public debt will show your smoothness level. Mr. President
please show us the utilization of the 37.4 billion US dollars (21.4 billion revenues and
16 billion borrowed funds) for your 27 months in office
Thank you. God bless Mother Ghana and save her from the oppression of debt.

Below is the full statement

 

file:///C:/Users/Godfred/Downloads/press%20statement.pdf

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