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Ghana’s total debt is $24bn; we couldn’t have borrowed $37bn – Mahama

Source: Myjoyonline.com

President John Mahama has disputed claims that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government has borrowed the equivalent of $37 billion in seven years.

The president says the country’s total debt since independence currently stands at $24 billion and that the government couldn’t possibly have borrowed $37 billion.

President Mahama was reacting to claims by Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the Vice Presidential candidate of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), that the current government has weakened the country’s economy through reckless borrowing.

Dr. Bawumia made the claim in a lecture on the topic “The Role of Financial Discipline and Investment In National Development” at the University for Development Studies, Wa Campus in February this year.

He said, “First, If you sum the cost of all the loan-financed projects listed in the green book (even including those with artistic impressions, it is less than $7 billion. Meanwhile, the government has borrowed the equivalent of $37 billion so where is the rest of the money? Indeed, given the resources at its disposal, one should expect at least four times the quantum of investment that the NDC claims to have undertaken.”

President Mahama speaking on Accra-based 3FM Monday said “there is a lot of exaggeration about borrowing. The borrowing has not been excessive. I heard one of the political leaders say during this government we have borrowed $37 billion.”

“The total debt of Ghana as I stand today from independence is $24 billion. How can this government have borrowed $37 billion does it make mathematical sense to you?” the president quizzed.

In a subtle jab, he said, “And yet this person goes repeating it over and over again for what purpose you don’t know. We must tell the people the truth. The thing is you can’t lie your way into power.”