I’II borrow more as Prez to expand Ghana’s economy-Akpaloo

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The Founder and leader
of the Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG), Mr Percival Kofi Akpaloo has hinted he
will borrow more to expand Ghana’s economy.

The aspiring president
speaking in an interview on Frontline on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm said there ‘’is
nothing wrong with borrowing’’.

Ghana’s rising debt levels has been described as worrying.

The World Bank Country
Director, Pierre Frank LaPorte, has expressed worry over the rising levels of
Ghana’s debts.

According to him, if
the country’s debt is not immediately checked, Ghana could soon return to HIPC.

He attributed the
country’s rising debts to the government’s increased borrowing to pay
outstanding debts without reinvesting the monies.

He was speaking at the
World Bank’s Economic Marathon held in Accra on Thursday, July 25.

“Actually, the World
Bank is quite concerned about the recent trend in debt.  We see across
Africa debt is rising and we may be returning to HIPC levels of debt, where
debt was unsustainable. All the gains from the HIPC initiative are being
eroded,” he said. He added:

“Borrowing is necessary
for development, but we have to consider sustainability. Africa has to be
careful and Ghana is no exception. We have to consider domestic and external
debt because when the economy is in balance and foreign currency is not an
issue.

“A country can repay its external debt but there has to be a balance so not too much of your foreign exchange reserves are being used to service debt,” he said.

Despite these warnings,
Kofi Apkaloo says he will borrow and invest the money in constructing factories
to help create jobs.

‘’We want to expand the
economy; we want to stimulate it. We want to grow the economy so we are ready
to borrow more money to expand the economy. We will borrow to expand the
economy and so everybody should be ready for that,’’ he said.

He added: ‘’if we borrow more to build factories there is nothing wrong with that. If you construct factories in every district, then you have to borrow to do that. You cannot use your mouth to construct the factories, it demands money and so we have to borrow to do it.’’

Ghana’s total public
debt as at May 2019 stood at about GHc200 million, translating into about $38.8
billion.

This is according to
the Bank of Ghana’s latest Summary of Economic and Financial report.

In January this year, the total public debt was GHS176.6 billion (US$35.7 billion) and GHS180.7 billion (US$35 billion) for February.

The figure for January and February represented 51.3 per cent and 52.5 per cent of GDP.

A total of GHS21.4 billion was added to the public debt in the first three months of 2019.

In the Banking sector, Total assets of banks in the country grew to 112.8 billion cedis by July 2019 compared to 100.3 billion cedis in the same period under review.

Meanwhile, non-performing loans of banks dropped to 18.1% in July 2019 from 22.6% in July 2019.

By: Rashid Obodai Provencal

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