Kobena Mensah Woyome, who serves as the Member of Parliament for South Tongu, is suggesting the separation of the debt management function from the Ministry of Finance in order to avoid accumulating debts. Instead, he is advocating for the appointment of autonomous managers to oversee Ghana’s debt.
According to him, it appears that the government is not borrowing for the purpose of financing projects and repaying the loans with interest. Rather, it is borrowing for recurrent expenditure and other activities that do not ensure the country’s ability to repay, due to a lack of transparency on the part of the debt managers, which he considers as irresponsible.
He stated that under his proposal for independent debt managers, they would be responsible for advising the government on decisions regarding loan acquisitions, including how much to borrow, at what interest rate, and how to spend the borrowed funds, in order to prevent the country from falling into a massive debt situation in the future. The independent debt managers would also be tasked with ensuring efficiency in the borrowing process.
‘’…I will actually suggest that government should be candid and maybe all here in this house must agree and advocate that, the managers of the economy, in fact, there should be independent mangers of the debt of this country, so that that would be taken away from the responsibility of the finance minister, so that at least, .., they will be able to help advise government on decisions with regards to what to borrow, rate at which to borrow, how to spend, and on what so that at least all these things can be managed efficiently, so that we don’t find ourselves in the situation we find ourselves” he proposed
Mr. Woyome, who serves as the Ranking Member on the Sports, Youth, and Culture committee, presented his proposal on the floor of parliament during his allotted time to support a motion thanking President Akuffo-Addo for delivering a message on the State of the Nation, as required by Article 67 of the 1992 Constitution.
The lawmaker from North Tongu also raised concerns about the Bank of Ghana’s failure to effectively manage its policy rates, which has contributed to the high inflation rates that the country has been experiencing lately.
He criticized the central bank and accused it of being irresponsible and engaging in illegal practices by providing the government with printed money that exceeds the allowable five percent threshold. He believes that this reckless behavior has contributed to the current state of the country’s economy.
Mr Woyome presented evidence and data to support his claims and argued that the Bank of Ghana (BoG) has not been fulfilling its responsibility of managing its policy rates effectively. He explained that the BoG is supposed to use its policy rate to control inflation by reducing excess liquidity in the system, but instead, it has been illegally providing more money to the government through printing, which has caused inflation to increase.
He pointed out that the BoG funded the government with GHS 10 billion in 2020, which exceeded the allowable five percent threshold of the previous year’s revenue collected. In 2021, they printed over GHS 35 billion, and in 2022, GHS 50 billion was used to fund the government. He argued that this illegal funding is contradictory to the BoG’s policy rate announcements, which aim to control the money circulation in the system.
Mr Woyome urged parliament to keep a close eye on the BoG’s actions and inactions, which he believes have not been sincere. He criticized the BoG’s mismanagement of monetary policy, which has made life difficult for businesses and operators in the Ghanaian economy.
He also called on the President to allow independent state institutions mandated to investigate allegations of wrongdoing against his appointees with regards to COVID-19 funds to do their work and establish the facts. He urged the President to stop clearing his appointees of wrongdoings and praising himself.
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