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ISSER slams Mahama for defending debt figures

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Director of the Institute of Statistical Social & Economic Research (ISSER), Professor Felix Ankomah Asante, has advised President John Dramani Mahama to stop the public defence against Ghana’s current debt stock.

According to him, the president and his appointees must focus on how to reduce the country’s increasing debt figures.

“Government must find ways and lasting solutions of reducing the public debt stock not to fight over figures,” Prof. Ankomah Asante told Afia Pokua Wednesday on Adom FM’s “Burning Issues”.

His comment follows a statement by President Mahama suggesting that Ghana’s total debt stock since independence is 24 billion dollars, rejecting claims by the running mate of the NPP, Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia that government is engaged in excessive borrowing.

Addressing students of the Jasikan College of Education in the Volta Region, Dr. Bawumia said Ghana’s debt is 37 billion not 24 billion as stated by the President. He further urged the President to get a better briefing on the matter.

Speaking on the issue, Prof. Ankomah said both Bawumia and President Mahama are providing figures that suit them, noting they are both right about the figures depending on where they are coming from.

He however insists the way to go is to control the ballooning debt figures.

“Borrowing is not a bad idea but it depends on what we use the money for and how it’s being used in the country in a given period” Prof. Ankomah stressed.

“If you borrow money and use it for chop money it’s bad, but if you use it for projects and proper investments that will yield results” he advised.

He stated that government must use borrowed money on projects that will generate revenue to enable the country pay back its loans.

President Mahama has since challenged his main contender in the November 7 Presidential polls, NPP’s Nana Akufo-Addo to an open debate following claims that the government has sapped the country’s economy as a result of “reckless borrowing” totaling $37 billion and overpricing of deals.

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