NDC accuses government of increasing national debt

By NCS
By NCS

8/31/2001 -

The Brong Ahafo Regional Parliamentary Caucus of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) says the government has after only eight months in office increased the national debt by eight trillion cedis.

It said the government has been vilifying the past government of saddling the country with trillions of cedis of debts but they have also continued with the pilling up debts.

"Within the first half of the year alone the NPP government has contracted the equivalent of five trillion cedis in foreign loans excluding domestic debts, which has increased by some three trillion cedis".

In a statement read on behalf of the Caucus at a press conference in Sunyani Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, Member of Parliament (MP) for Wenchi West and Minority Spokesman on Agriculture said the 41 trillion cedis debt left by the NDC covered 20 years.

He said if the NPP was viciously criticising the NDC for the debt it left behind, then it had no justification to borrow as much as eight trillion cedis in just seven months after its assumption of power.

"They accused us of leaving a national debt of 41 trillion cedis without mentioning the infrastructure like roads, schools and hospitals that we left behind. "If the NPP continues to borrow as they are doing now then they are going to leave behind a debt in the region of 40 trillion cedis over a period of just four years as against the 41 trillion cedis left after 20 years".

The press conference, which was to review the seven months old administration of the NPP, said the government has worsened the plight of Ghanaians since it assumed power, contrary to its electoral promises.

"The NPP during the campaign promised Ghanaians heaven on earth but seven months into Kufuor's administration what we see is a 64 per cent increase in fuel prices, 100 per cent rise in water and electricity tariffs whilst the cost of living has doubled".

Hon. Asiedu-Nketiah, who was the Deputy Minister for Agriculture in the NDC regime, accused the government of "throwing dust into the eyes of Ghanaians" by making false declarations with regards to the true state of the economy and the cocoa spraying exercise.

"Perhaps the biggest fraud this government has perpetrated so far is the misrepresentations made to portray to cocoa farmers that they are going to enjoy free spraying of their farms when in fact it is half of the bonuses due them that are going to be used to finance the exercise".

The Shadow Minister of Agriculture, however, commended the government for instituting a scheme to boost cassava and garment production and export but demanded that it should give the NDC government some credit for laying the foundation for the scheme.

Asiedu-Nketiah said the government's inability to check crime in the country was a reflection of its incompetence. He said the NDC supports the establishment of the National Reconciliation Commission but condemns the government's proposal that the composition of members be made up nominees of the President approved by the Council of State and "its powers of entry, search and seizure without permission will make it both partisan and unconstitutional".

Deputy Minority Spokesman, Mr. Isaac Adjei-Mensah, MP for Techiman North, said the present positive reviews the international community was giving the government on its economic performance "is irrelevant" as long as Ghanaians keep suffering.

During an open forum, Mr. Asiedu-Nketiah said the government had lost the moral authority to fight corruption by spending billions of cedis on the renovation of the Castle and private residence of the President without parliamentary approval.