There is “no country in the world that doesn’t borrow,” Deputy Finance Minister, Abena Osei Asare, has said in defence of the Akufo-Addo government’s borrowing for certain projects, including one that aims to make Ghana’s capital city, Accra, the cleanest in Africa.
Defending the decision by the government to borrow $48million for the Greater Accra Sustainable Sanitation and Livelihoods Improvement project on the floor of parliament on Wednesday, 2 August, vis-à-vis the New Patriotic Party’s criticism of the Mahama administration as a reckless borrower when the NPP was in opposition, Ms Osei Asare told parliament that: “What we were speaking against was the reckless borrowing by the previous government.”
“We are not against borrowing,” the Atiwa East MP said, adding: “We will only borrow for projects that can pay for itself or we borrow for a social project where the benefit far outweighs the cost – like this one.”
The $48million is “to improve sanitation in Greater Accra,” she reiterated, adding: “Year-on-year, there is outbreak of cholera and we want to change some of these things; that is why we feel, for this loan, the social benefit will far outweigh the cost. We value human life, so we feel we should improve sanitation in Greater Accra.”
But Ho Central MP, Benjamin Kpodo, disagreed. He said: “Mr Speaker, I have noticed that our honourable Deputy Minister is leading us in the wrong direction. If she is saying that the previous government has borrowed excessively and recklessly and she has come to inherit it, what she should do to bring the debt down is to pay back but she is rather borrowing.”