Ghana’s Debt Balloons To Gh¢304.6 billion

The national debt spiraled by Ghc3billion to hit Ghc304.6billion in March 2021.

This is according to the latest financial data from the Bank of Ghana (BoG).

Strangely, however, the Bank of Ghana is reporting that despite the increase in the debt, the country’s debt to GDP ratio dropped to 70.2% from the 76.1% that the government had claimed was the case in 2020.

There has not been any explanation for the illogical correlation between increasing debt and supposedly shrinking debt to GDP ratio, particularly when the World Bank and IMF had exposed the Finance Ministry and the BOG for covering up the actual debt to GDP of 78%, instead of the 76.1 % being quoted.

The international community and rating agencies are also estimating that the country’s debt to GDP will hit some 80% by the close of 2021.

How the debt had shrunk to 70.2% amidst the government’s own expression of hopelessness at the ballooning debt has become a mystery. 

Last week, President Akufo Addo was in Europe begging the Paris Club to forgive Ghana’s debt.

The Akufo-Addo government, through the same strange mathematics, had managed to leave out energy sector debts from the country’s debt and therefore managed to artificially bring the debt to GDP ratio down to 76.1% instead of 78%.

Now that the country’s debt has spiraled by Ghc3billion, proper accounting is likely to escalate the debt to GDP ratio to something more than the 78% that the IMF has listed.

Meanwhile, according to the BoG, the $3billion Eurobond raised by the country in March this year accounted for this jump in the debt.

As of last year, the country’s debt stood at Ghc291.6billion. Between December 2020 and March 2021, a whopping ¢13billion was added to the country’s debt. 

The domestic debt increased to ¢163.6 billion at the end of the first quarter of 2021, compared with ¢149.8 billion in December 2020. This is equivalent to 37.3% of GDP.

The external debt stood at ¢141 billion ($24.6 billion) in March 2021, as against ¢141.8 ($24.6 billion). This is approximately 37.7% of GDP.

But the financial sector debt went down by ¢100 million to ¢15.2 billion. It is equivalent to 3.5% of GDP.

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