Govt needs comprehensive debt restructuring to obtain fiscal space – John Mahama

Former President, Mr John Dramani Mahama, says there is the need for a comprehensive debt restructuring by the government in order to obtain a fiscal space to ease its plight.

This, he said, was as a result of continuous borrowing by the government in its attempt to mitigate the country’s current economic situation which could pose a challenge to any government that takes over.

Mr Mahama was speaking at the inaugural lecture organised by Think Progress Ghana, a think tank, at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) yesterday under the theme “Ghana’s Debt Burden; Reflections and Solutions.”

Think Progress Ghana is a non-profit multi-issue progressive think tank made of 21 intellectuals drawn from diverse backgrounds with the aim of bridging the gap between researchers, politicians, intellectuals and policymakers.

According to the former President, the country’s debt services obligations arising from issues such as inflation, high prices,income duties were having an adverse effect on the economy which was draining its revenue base.

Additionally, Mr Manama said “whereas a total of GH¢14billionrevenue was projected to be collected as captured in the 2022 budget, only GH¢12.8 billion was collected.

This amount was not able to meet the debt service payment for the same period which stood at GH¢13.9 billion. It means the debt service obligation we owe for the first quarterGH¢13.9 billion and all our revenue that was collected was GH¢12.8 billion.”

He explained that further borrowing by the government would add a colossal amount ofGH¢8billion to the country’s debt, hence, the need to find alternative solutions.

Mr Mahama called on the President to engage individuals who were inclined in economic issues and could help in the restructuring process, address and rally support from the nation, dismissal of the Finance Minister and conduct a shakeup in his government.

The former Minister of Finance, Mr Seth Terkper speaking at the same event noted that the current government had failed to address the economic challenges due to its high expenditure as against its revenue.

Under the National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration led by Mr Mahama, he explained were able to stabilise the economy through the creation of funds such as the stabilisation fund thereby avoiding higher expenditure.

In his remarks, the Chair of the event, Mr Prosper Douglas Bani, said the timing of the lecture was important considering the current economic position of the country which had seen some Labour Unions embark on demonstration to lay to bare their grievances to the government.

BY BENJAMIN ARCTON-TETTEY

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