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Editorial | Dec 2, 2014

From Bawumia, Eurobond Poser

By Daily Guide
From Bawumia, Eurobond Poser

Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has spoken and managers of the country's economy have contracted severe cold, sneezing uncontrollably in response.

Bawumia, former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana—now running mate to the flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP)—has thrown a poser at the managers of the economy regarding how the lifeline $1 billion Eurobond is being expended.

Answers to the poser alongside a relevant journal would assist Ghanaians in making informed deductions about how well or otherwise the whopping amount is being managed or otherwise, by those at the helm.

The   poser is coming at a time when the integrity of the management of the economy has come under an unusual focus.

It would be in the interest of the government to carefully provide facts and figures so the fears being expressed by Dr Bawumia and others can be allayed.

The Eurobond is the reason the embattled Cedi is enjoying a temporary respite; but as we are told, it would not be long before the status quo is replaced by the previous order. Shouldn't we know all there is to know about the bond?

The non-reflection of the bond in next year's revenue generation and expenditure statement—otherwise known as the budget—does not appear to be in good faith because it presupposes an attempt at concealing something.

For a long time management of the economy has been characterised by a vast schism between what is presented as capital expenditure for the approaching year and the actualities or what have been achieved at the end of the year. We are unable to make significant strides in infrastructural development as a result of this; the reasons for which are myriad and suggestive indications about how poorly the economy is being managed.

It would be a near impossible task convincing Ghanaians about the sincerity of the government in this time round doing things differently.

So much money—$1 billion—with no balance sheet to indicate how the amount is being utilised by a group of politicians with an unenviable financial integrity record is a source of insomnia. That certainly is the reason why Dr Bawumia is asking questions on behalf of his compatriots.

Next year's budget has not showed sufficiently the role of the bond; hence, the justifiable fears being exhibited. We are particularly scared at the impossibility of using the money to service our national debt while simultaneously employing it for capital expenditure.

There is something we do not know but which we should. Unfortunately, we are nowhere near getting details of the financial journey of the $1 billion. Deputy Finance Minister Cassiel Ato Forson claims that at the appropriate time answers to the question posed by Dr Bawumia—and which most Ghanaians following the trend in the management of the economy have interest in—would be put at the disposal of the public.

With a debt profile of 60.8 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to the country's credit, we cannot successfully pretend that all is well—not when we have run desperately to the IMF even as we put up a pretentious brave face. No answers would be forthcoming until further notice is what Dr Bawumia and the rest of us would have as a response. Not even the propaganda-coated ones.

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