Minister for Information Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has rubbished claims that Ghana is back to being a Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC).
Speaking at the Nation Building Updates in Accra yesterday, the Information Minister entreated Ghanaians to disregard this vile propaganda, pointing out that as the country goes for the polls December 7, 2020, some persons will seek to spread a lot of falsehood.
“There are suggestions being spread particularly on social media that Ghana has been declared HIPC again and I am sure you would have noticed that a lot of persons are sharing materials on social media that the IMF or World Bank has declared Ghana HIPC or listed Ghana as one of the HIPC countries and it is a suggestion that the economy is not as good a shape that we claim it is.
“For the avoidance of doubt and because we have also mentioned that we are aware that some persons in the weeks ahead of the elections will seek to spread a lot of false information and fake news, it is important to quickly respond to it right here and right now. Categorically we say to you it is not true that Ghana has been declared HIPC or has been added to the list of HIPC countries”.
Just on Monday, the presidential candidate of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) John Dramani Mahama who is seeking re-election during an engagement with Ghanaian professionals said Ghana is back to HIPC.
According to him, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecast Ghana’s current rate of borrowing and debt at 76.7 per cent debt to GDP ratio.
This, Mr Mahama claimed, has brought the nation back to the days of HIPC.
Former President Mahama who has been crying for an undesirable debate between him and President Nana Akufo-Addo was on Monday given the opportunity at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel in Accra by the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) to speak to his manifesto for the 2020 polls.
He claimed it was incorrect that he left President Akufo-Addo with nothing when he handed over power on January 7, 2017.
“Contrary to the impression created by Nana Akufo-Addo that he inherited nothing from me, and that he inherited a mess, I left him revenue from two new oil fields – the TEN field and ENI Sankofa fields.
“I left him with $270 million in the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund. I left him with more than $207 million in the Stabilisation Fund and about $300 million in the Sinking Fund with which the final payment of the Kufuor euro bond was paid on maturity in 2017.
“As for the 2020 growth, the economy that was sold to us as resilient and capable of withstanding shocks for at least three months without any external intervention could not stay afloat without IMF support for more than three weeks.
“Even worse, the rate of borrowing by this government has dazed many observers.
“The IMF in its Sub-Saharan African Regional Economic Outlook forecast the current rate of borrowing and debt at a frightening 76.7% debt to GDP ratio.
“Ladies and gentlemen, unfortunately, Ghana is back to HIPC status under Nana Akufo-Addo and Ken Ofori-Atta administration.”
HIPC are a group of developing countries with high levels of poverty and debt overhang which are eligible for special assistance from the IMF and the World Bank.
It provides debt relief and low-interest loans to cancel or reduce external debt repayments to sustainable levels.
Ghana completed the programme and had her external debt cancelled and no longer qualifies to be part of HIPC.