The Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta has refuted claims that Ghana stands a high risk of debt distress.
The Economic Commission for Africa has listed Ghana as part of countries whose debt levels raise concern about ability to withstand the impact of the move on their economies.
Ghana’s debt is stood at 173.2 billion cedis as at the end of 2018.
But Mr. Ofori Atta tracing the downward trend in debt to revenue ratio, discounted the claims that the country is threading cautious paths.
He made the remarks when he appeared on the Citi Breakfast Show on Thursday, April 4, 2019.
“We have moved from about 47.4 % maybe in 2016 to where it is that is 40.9 percent in 2018 and we expect it to go down in 2022 to about 30 percent,” he stated.
Latest figures from the Bank of Ghana show that Ghana added about thirty million cedis to its debt between 2017 and 2018.
This translates into 21.5 percent increase in the country’s total debt within the one year period.
The government has justified the domestic and foreign bonds issued since it assumed office.
It maintains that the exercise is necessary to retire maturing debts and provide infrastructural projects.
Meanwhile Mr. Ofori Atta has maintained that Ghana’s exit from the IMF program should not see the country witness a rise in the budget deficit.
He explains this will be achieved through guarding expenditure particularly the public sector wage bill.
“We’ve put in a lot of irreversibility buffers in place such as the Fiscal Advisory and Responsibility Councils and then also we now have discussions with employers’ union which will enable us to monitor ourselves and set targets and make sure that the IMF is replaced by our own stakeholders to be on course,” he asserted.
Again, the Finance Minister has assured of interim impact of the government’s economic policies on the lives of Ghanaians though he admits that the overall effect will require a longer period of time.
“Inflation as well as interest rates all have to come down; we need to find means of bringing capital to entrepreneurs so that we can generate the type of employment and decent work that we are talking about,” he concluded.
By: Pius Amihere Eduku/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana