Ghana’s total debt stock will hit GHS110 billion by the time President John Mahama leaves office, flagbearer of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) Nana Akufo-Addo has said, a situation he believes amounts to mortgaging the country’s future.
“The indebtedness of Ghana has gone from GHS9.5 billion in a space of six years; a growth of over a 1,000 per cent.
“At the rate that it’s going, it’s going to be close to GHS110 billion by the time Mahama leaves office,” Mr Akufo-Addo told an audience in Canada recently.
He said: “The future of our nation is being mortgaged and compromised, and that is why it is vital that next year, we put a stop to it and bring sanity to the administration of our country.”
This is not the first time the former Attorney General has predicted economic gloom for the country, should the Mahama administration persist in office.
In September this year, he said Ghana’s total debt stock will more than triple by 2020 if President John Mahama’s mandate were renewed at the polls in 2016.
“In 2009, when they [NDC] came into office, Ghana’s debt was Ghc9.5 billion; this was Ghana’s debt from Nkrumah’s time to when Kufuor left office.
“Four years later, by 2012 ending, it had gone up more than three times to Ghc33.5billion.
“The NDC got a second term in office, in 2012. We are not even at the end of 2015, but Ghana’s debt has shot up another three times to GHc95 billion!” the three-time presidential candidate observed.
Using that trend to compute his prediction, the former Abuakwa South Member of Parliament told party supporters at Shama, on the final day of his ‘Rise and Build’ tour of the Western Region on Thursday, September 24, that Ghana’s debt stock will hit GHc300 billion if the Mahama administration is given another four-year term.
“What is the future of our youth? What future can they have with these statistics? That is why we have a huge responsibility to reverse the trend of our future and bring Ghana back onto the path of progress and prosperity,” he said.
He, therefore, outlined a four-point agenda, by which he and the NPP, will rescue the country should the 2016 polls go their way.
The 4-point agenda, according to Nana Akufo-Addo, will be promoted in every part of the country in the run-up to the 2016 election, as, in his view, it is the surest way Ghana can be restored to the path of progress and prosperity and moved away from being a highly-indebted and poor country.
Should he win the upcoming polls, he said his Government will take office with a clear programme of action for the industrialisation of Ghana – an economic transformation that touches every region of Ghana.
Mr Akufo-Addo added that the experiences of the successful countries in Asia and elsewhere have shown that government has a very important and positive role to play in spurring industrialisation and economic transformation. Thus, the role of his government will be to provide “fiscal incentives and bank support to boost our industrial and manufacturing sector.”
The second element of the agenda, the NPP flagbearer stated, requires his government to concentrate on raising productivity in agriculture and also diversifying agriculture.
He said the first two points will be hinged on the third: Strengthening and reforming the financial sector, “so it can support the growth and expansion of the two areas I have already mentioned.”
The fourth strategy, he noted, will be a very aggressive integration policy within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
With West Africa’s population currently estimated at some 350 million people, and projected to hit 500 million by 2030, Nana Akufo-Addo explained that this presents considerable opportunities for marketing Ghanaian industrial and agricultural products.
He told his supporters that his policy, therefore, will be to “help accelerate the process of integration in the region”, as the emergence of a genuine regional market will stimulate Ghanaian enterprise and ingenuity.
“This is the four-point programme that we are going to go into the election with, and will be the basis of our policies for the development of our country.
“It is a time-tested strategy. It is the way Korea went, it is the way Taiwan went, and it is the way China has been going. That is the way, God-willing, Ghana is going to go, to develop our economy, bring jobs to our young people and prosperity to the masses of our people,” he said.
“The NPP has the men and women and the policies to do it,” he told the crowd.