NPP gov’t didn’t promise not to borrow – Baako challenges NDC claims

Veteran journalist, Abdul-Malik Kwaku Baako, has jumped to the defence of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration over a controversial issue about the national debt.

According to the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), during the run-up to the 2016 elections that brought the NPP to power, the party vowed never to borrow when elected to govern the country.

On current affairs programme, Newsfile, Saturday, Tamale North Member of Parliament, Alhassan Suhuyini, sought to repeat that claim to buttress his argument that the former NDC administration was vindicated in its prudent debt portfolio.

Mr Suhuyini pulled up a Tweet he claimed was posted by Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia before the NPP won the elections.

However, Kwaku Baako, Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper, challenged the authenticity of the Tweet.

“I don’t think Dr Bawumia ever made such comments. This Tweet could not have come from him because it is practically impossible for any administration not to do a bit of borrowing. This Tweet Suhuyini is quoting from is of doubtful validity,” Kwaku Baako said.

The Minority in Parliament has criticised the Nana Akufo-Addo-led administration for what it describes as the unprecedented level of borrowing.

According to them, the latest report of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of Ghana places the current national debt at almost ¢200 billion as at the end of the first quarter of 2019.

The NPP administration has insisted that the loans it was contracting had Minority’s approval.

Information minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said at a press conference recently that, “With regard to the external loans, all of those loans are given approval by Parliament in accordance with Article 181 of the Constitution 1992 and sections 55, 56, 57 of the public financial management Act, Act 921 for which the Minority is a party. You can add up all the loans this administration has taken to Parliament and it will not come near ¢80 billion.

“Indeed, if there was a list of loans that add up to ¢80 billion, you will imagine that the Minority will put up that list by now. The reason for which our debt stock today will show a difference of about 80 billion is that the figures are a nominal public debt stock and the public debt stock figure is made up of a number of things. Old loans that are now being disbursed within the tenure of this administration add to the public debt stock. It does not mean our administration has gone to borrow.”

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