Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, a Ranking Member of the Finance Committee of Parliament, has revealed that Ghana’s current economic indicators are worse today than they were when the nation was declared HIPC in 2001.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) legislator said although the country has not been declared HIPC by the Bretton Woods Institutions, the current debt sustainability indicators clearly show that Ghana is a Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC).
According to the lawmaker, the current deplorable state of the economy, which has witnessed an escalation in the suffering of the Ghanaian populace, is a result of mismanagement by the Akufo-Addo-Bawumia government and not the Covid-19 pandemic as the government had led many to believe.
Speaking on Monday at an NDC Ranking Members forum dubbed “Policy Dialogue on the Economy” at the UPSA Auditorium in Accra, the Member of Parliament for Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam disclosed that as bad as the situation was, it was going to get worse because the government plans to borrow even more in 2021.
“The IMF Debt Sustainability Analysis (DSA) in 2019, put Ghana at High Risk of Debt Distress. This was before Covid-19. The situation worsened by the end of 2020. With the planned borrowings in 2021, the situation is likely to deteriorate further.”
Expressing worry over the development, the Ranking Member urged that the Akufo-Addo-Bawumia government “must be bold to tell the Ghanaian Public the truth that the economy has been driven into a ditch and will require urgent fiscal measures to pull out of the ditch.” He warned that failure by the Akufo-Addo-Bawumia government to do as recommended, within the next 18 months, would expose Ghana to a High Risk of Default on its debt service obligations which will plunge the country into a much deeper economic crisis.
The data-based engagement brought together representatives from civil society, the media, academia, professional groups among others to dialogue on the economy, government policies and to suggest practical solutions if needed.