Mahama ‘deliberately lied’ on campaign trail – Kwaku Kwarteng

Although government borrowed GH¢27.7billion in 2014 alone, it spent only GH¢6billion on development projects, Obuasi West MP Kwaku Kwarteng has revealed.

The rest, he claimed were consumed on recurrent expenditures, a practice deemed as poor economic management.

Kwaku Kwarteng was reacting to a debate over the public debt triggered by the President who has been defending government’s borrowing spree.

Mahama has maintained, loans and proceeds from bonds have been put to judicious use.

The President has explained that although government has borrowed more, these loans were used in infrastructural projects capable of paying off the loans.

Projects in water, roads and grand hospitals are expected to generate returns.

But an unconvinced Kwaku Kwarteng has called out the President for making an uninformed analysis.

“The President misled everybody” Kwaku Kwarteng assessed the president’s speech while on the campaign trail in the Volta Region yesterday.

Kwaku Kwarteng
A borrowing-to-consume pattern of government expenditure?

Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Friday, Kwaku Kwarteng stated that out of the more than GH¢100billion debt burden, the Kufuor government contributed only GHC 9.5billion after it existed power in 2008.

Picking out the NDC government’s track record on borrowing since 2009, Kwaku Kwarteng pointed out that loans approved by parliament have been mismanaged as follows:

In 2009, government borrowed GH¢3.6bn but spent GH¢2.5billion on development expenditure.

In 2010, government borrowed GH¢4.3bn but spent GH¢3.1billion on development.

In these two years, government used an average of about 25% of borrowed money on consumption.

“That was not good enough….but you probably would want to pardon the President”

But expenditure patterns worsened after 2010, the Obuasi West MP observed.

In 2011, government contracted GH¢6billion in loans but spend only GH¢3.7billion on development. About 40% went into questionable expenses.

In 2012, out of GH¢11.5billion it borrowed, government used only GH¢4.9billion for development programs. About 67% was wasted on consumption, Kwaku Kwarteng claimed.

In 2013, government used only 28% of the GH¢16billion it borrowed for development expenditure.

In 2014, only GH¢6billion was used out of the GH¢27.7billion government borrowed.

“When a country borrows and consumes we are heading for trouble”

“They come to parliament borrow money and before you know a large chunk is gone into re-current expenditure” the Obuasi MP said.

The debt debate: Did Mahama deliberately lie?
Ghana’s debt sustainability has been a major concern for ratings agency Moody which has rated the country’s credit-worthiness as very poor.

Moody has given Ghana a B3 negative.
The Minority has demanded that government accounts for $23 billion out of the $27 billion con­tracted under the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government in six years.

The NPP claim only $3.42 billion went to development projects, a testament to what it described as “unbridled thirst for borrowing” and misplaced priorities.

President John Mahama has been using the campaign trail to respond to popular criticisms raised by the NPP.

President John Mahama told enthusiastic supporters in Volta region during a campaign tour that the if the minority NPP is demanding accountability on loans contracted by his government, then it means that the Minority MPs have been sleeping in Parliament.

President Mahama went on to dismiss claims that loans procured by his government have been misused.

“You say we haven’t used the loans for anything and that we are misusing monies. Meanwhile every loan we take is taken through Parliament for approval so what have they been doing? Have they been sleeping?

“They approve the loans in Parliament; there is no single loan we have taken without taking it through Parliament; they should come and tell us what they have been doing,” the president mocked the NPP.

But the Minority has rejected criticisms from President Mahama suggesting that if the NPP MPs claim not to know about loans his government contracts it is because they are sleeping on the job.

Dominic Nitiwul tackles Mahama
Dominic Nitiwul maintained that majority of loans close to GH¢92billion contracted by government does not come to parliament for approval.

He stressed that the constitution empowers the president to go for loans without parliamentary approval as long as it is borrowed domestically.

Government has therefore been exploiting this provision leaving the Minority in Parliament struggling to know the purpose for the loans the government contracts in Ghana.

“Last quarter they raised GH¢ 8billion. It did not come to parliament” the Bimbilla MP told Citi FM.

Nitiwul said the President “should know that only external loans come to parliament. That is the first thing the president ought to have known.”

Kwaku Kwarteng also added that more than GH¢175 million in loans procured for the Savanna Accelerated Development Agency (SADA) did not come to Parliament because it was procured through domestic sources.

He has also demanded that terms of Bonds and Treasury Bills which government raises should come to Parliament.

According to him, the current practice of raising money through the bond market without requiring parliamentary approval does not augur well for accountability.

“Some of us think it is unconstitutional”

Story by Ghana||Edwin Appiah|[email protected]

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