Akufo-Addo Denies Responsibility For Ghana’s Debt: “I Have Neither Over-Borrowed Nor Recklessly Overspent”

Akufo-Addo Denies Responsibility For Ghana's Debt: "I Have Neither Over-Borrowed Nor Recklessly Overspent"

During his state of the nation address on March 8th, 2023, President Nana Akufo-Addo spoke about the debt situation in Ghana, acknowledging the concerns that have been raised beyond the use of COVID funds. He emphasized that his administration has been responsible for borrowing and spending, and stressed the need for urgent infrastructure development, education, and youth empowerment.

The President acknowledged that more work needs to be done in terms of building roads, bridges, schools, and providing basic necessities like potable water. He expressed pride in the progress that has been made in areas such as agriculture, education, health, and digitization, but acknowledged that more resources are needed to achieve even greater success.

Defending his administration’s borrowing, the President highlighted the need for road construction, which is a critical area of focus for Ghana’s Members of Parliament. He also mentioned that Ghana’s total public debt stock has increased to GH¢575.7 billion as of November 2022, representing 62.1% of GDP and a debt-to-GDP ratio of 93.5%.

He said: “Considering the amount of work that still needs to be done on the state of our roads, the bridges that have to be built, considering the number of classrooms that need to be built, the furniture and equipment needs at all stages of education, considering the number of children who should be in school and are not, considering the number of towns and villages that still do not have access to potable water, I daresay no one can suggest we have over borrowed or spent recklessly”. 

He said: “Yes, I have been in a hurry to get things done, and this includes massive developments in agriculture, education, health, irrigation, roads, rails, ports, airports, sea defense, digitization, social protection programmes, industrialization and tourism”. 

“We can be justifiably proud of the many things we have managed to do in the past six (6) years. As I go around the country, I hear the pleas for roads, schools, hospitals, and, as the rainy season comes, I wish, as every other Ghanaian does, that we would have built more drains than we have. And I wish we had the resources to do more”. 

But, Mr. Speaker, I am proud of the amount of work that we have done, especially in the road sector. Roads constitute the largest number of questions asked in this House by Members of Parliament; a large amount of the monies we borrow are for road construction. Shall we dare stop constructing roads?” 

In addition to discussing the debt situation in Ghana, the President also suggested that rich nations should consider forgiving debts owed by African countries as part of their efforts to address climate change. Overall, President Akufo-Addo’s state of the nation address emphasized the importance of responsible borrowing and spending, while also highlighting the need for continued infrastructure development and investment in Ghana’s youth.

Leave a reply