An ace Ghanaian broadcaster has expressed his surprise at the government for constantly employing the services of a company co-founded by the Finance Minister – Data Bank Financial Services – as advisors for some of Ghana's international loan transactions.
Kwasi Kyei Darkwah (KKD) suggested that it may be the reason the country keeps borrowing, a habit he insisted cannot be allowed to continue.
Speaking on GTV's Breakfast Show on Wednesday, August 17, he lashed out at Parliament for keeping quiet about such an issue.
According to him, the legislators have failed the country and its citizens.
“I read a report yesterday that broke my heart. I saw how much Ghana owes but I also found that apparently, the minister of finance's company or former company, is the transaction advisor to the monies we borrow.”
“So, as Ghana gets poorer, the minister of finance's company or former company gets richer.”
“Is this what we want to continue in this country? Do we want to elect people into office, give them their pay and perks and then allow them and their friends and their companies or their former companies to be the very beneficiaries of the woes of our country?” he said.
Meanwhile, the Databank has had cause to, over the past year, distance itself from accusations of conflict of interest in government transactions.
In June 2021, the company reiterated that Ken Ofori-Atta resigned as Executive Chair of the bank in August 2012 and “resigned from all the Databank Boards in February 2014.”
The country's current total debt stock hit GH¢391.9 billion as of March 2022, per data from the Bank of Ghana.
Fitch Solutions has said that Ghana's public debt will continue to rise to cover large deficits in the coming quarters.
It also forecasted total public debt to rise from 79.0% of Gross Domestic Product in 2021 to 83.0% in 2022.
Subsequently, the debt-to-GDP ratio will hit 84.5% in 2023.
“As Ghana has effectively been cut off from international capital markets, the country will have to rely on domestic debt issuance over the short term”, it said in its monthly report.
It added that Ghana's domestic debt market is relatively shallow and banks are already highly exposed to government debt.
“As such, a rise in domestic debt issuance over the coming quarters could crowd out the private sector, weighing on growth”, it pointed out.
It, however, concluded that Ghana's public expenditure will fall to 23.8% of GDP, from 25.2% in 2022, in line with the government's medium-term fiscal consolidation objectives.