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By Isaac Newton Tetteh
Ghana’s debt stock has ballooned towhooping GHS255.7billion, as of June 2020.
Some GHS50 billion more debthas been added to the country’s debt stock in the last 12 months.
This was contained in the Provisional figures from Ghana’s Finance Minister, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, during the presentation of the Mid year budget review in the country’s legislative house in Accra.
The statement indicated that the current debt stock is now pegged at 66.36 percent of GDP.
According to the Finance Minister the increase was mainly as a result of a Eurobond issuance of US$3.0 billion in February this year,the exchange rate depreciation, frontloading of expenditures and the COVID-19 effect which has increased the cedi equivalent of the outstanding debt stock,” The total debt stock was made up of GHS134.9 billion of external debt and GHS120.8 billion domestic debt.
He however noted that,these accounted for 52.7 percent and 47.3 percent of the total public debt stock, respectively.
As a percentage of GDP, external and domestic debt represented 35 percent and 31.36 percent, respectively.
Mr. Ofori –Atta mentioned that, in the first quarter of 2020, Ghana added GHS16.9 billion to its debt stock, taking it to GHS 236.1 billion.
This means Ghana added almost GHS20 billion to its debt stock in the subsequent three months, which coincided with the harshest periods of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The country’s debt figures have been a point of attack for the opposition National Democratic Congress(NDC) against the governing New patriotic Party(NPP)
The country’s debt stock would be expected to feature prominently going into the December 7 general elections in Ghana.