COVID-19 cost Ghana GHS21 billion

The nominee for Minister of State at the Finance Ministry, Charles Adu Boahen, has disclosed that the COVID-19 pandemic cost the country about GHS21 billion.

The nominee, who served as a deputy Finance Minister in President Akufo-Addo’s first term, made this known when he appeared before the Appointments Committee of Parliament today, Wednesday, June 2, 2021.

According to him, GHS18 billion of the said amount was funded through borrowing, with the remaining amount sourced from grants and the Stabilisation Fund.

“COVID-19 cost us [Ghana] about GHS21 billion. Of that amount, about GHS18 billion of it was funded through borrowing and the rest came to us as grants, [along with] some monies from the Stabilisation Fund.”

When further pushed by the Minority Leader, Mr. Haruna Iddrisu as to what percentage it represents in GPD terms, Mr. Adu Boahene stated that it represents 13% of Ghana’s GPD.

Ghana current debt stock

Ghana’s current debt stock stands at GHS291.6 billion as of December 2020.

This was disclosed on Friday, March 12, 2021, by the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and then-caretaker Minister for Finance, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu.

“The total public debt has increased from GHS122 billion, which is 69% of GDP to GHS291.6 billion, which is 76.1% of GDP, as of the end of December 2020,” he said when he presented the 2021 budget statement in Parliament.

He blamed the ballooning debt stock on some non-recurrent burdens.

Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu. indicated that if these expenditures were to be excluded, the debt stock would have been GHS239.9 billion, which would have been 58.7% of GDP.

“Included in the debt stock and the debt to GDP ratio are the following non-recurrent burdens that we had to deal with as a matter of urgency; the fiscal impact of COVID-19, which is GHS19.7 billion, the cost of the financial sector clean-up, which is GHS21 billion, and the cost of excess capacity charges paid to IPPs, which is also GHS12 billion.”

“If these expenditures are excluded and the drop in GDP growth in 2020, primarily attributable to COVID-19, is taken into account, the total stock of debt for 2020 would have been approximately GHS239.9 billion, implying a dent to GDP ratio of 58.7%.”

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