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2023 SONA: I have not been reckless in borrowing and spending, says Akufo-Addo

In his 2023 state of the nation address in Parliament on Wednesday, Akufo-Addo says his government has spent prudently on urgent needs of the country such as roads and schools

President Nana Akufo-Addo has said his government has not been reckless in borrowing and in spending, resulting in the current economic crisis.

Ghana is trying to restructure most of its public debt, estimated at GHC576 billion (US$45 billion) at the end of November. Local bondholders have been asked to voluntarily exchange 130 billion cedis of debt for new bonds that will pay between 8.35% and 15% interest, compared with an average of 19% on old bonds.

Addressing Parliament on Wednesday (8 March) in his 2023 State of the Nation Address, Akufo-Addo said: “Let me state emphatically that we have not been reckless in borrowing and in spending. It is worth noting that the debts we are servicing were not only contracted during the period of this administration.”

According to him, his government has spent prudently on urgent needs of the country such as roads and schools.

“We have spent money on things that are urgent, to build roads and bridges and schools, to train our young people and equip them to face a competitive world. Considering the amount of work that still needs to be done on the state of our roads, the bridges that have to be built, considering the number of classrooms that need to be built, the furniture and equipment needs at all stages of education, considering the number of children who should be in school and are not, considering the number of towns and villages that still do not have access to potable water, I daresay no one can suggest we have over borrowed or spent recklessly.

“Yes, I have been in a hurry to get things done, and this includes massive developments in agriculture, education, health, irrigation, roads, rails, ports, airports, sea defence, digitisation, social protection programmes, industrialisation and tourism. We can be justifiably proud of the many things we have managed to do in the past six years. As I go around the country, I hear the pleas for roads, schools, hospitals, and, as the rainy season comes, I wish, as every other Ghanaian does, that we would have built more drains than we have. And I wish we had the resources to do more,” he said.

“I am proud of the amount of work that we have done, especially in the road sector. Roads constitute the largest number of questions asked in this House by Members of Parliament; a large amount of the monies we borrow are for road construction. Shall we dare stop constructing roads?” Akufo-Addo asked.

 

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