No firm decision yet on 100-yr $50bn bond – Oppong Nkrumah

Information Minister-designate, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has said no firm decision has been taken yet by the government on the proposed $50 billion centenary bond...


Information Minister-designate, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has said no firm decision has been taken yet by the government on the proposed $50 billion centenary bond.

Speaking during his state visit to the People’s Republic of China, President Nana Akufo-Addo, said: “The Ministry of Finance and the economists in Ghana are looking at floating a $50 billion Century Bond”.

“This will provide us with the resources to finance our infrastructural and industrial development. We are hoping that, at some stage, China will interest itself, and take a part of it as China’s contribution to Ghana’s development”, the president said.

According to him, the centenary bond will be one of government’s means of securing long-term financial sources that “will allow us to deal with our infrastructural development, and also realise the vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid.”

The Minority in parliament, who have kicked against the move, have argued that the country cannot absorb such a huge facility.

Mr Gideon Amissah, a financial analyst and economist in an interview with Accra 100.5FM’s Katakyie Obeng Mensah on the Mid-Day news, Monday, 3 September 2018, also said the move will result in a huge debt that generations unborn will have to come and pay, coupled with the already existing debt portfolio of Ghana.

In response to the criticisms and concerns raised, Mr Oppong Nkrumah told Class91.3FM's 505 news analysis programme hosted by Valentina Ofori Afriyie that no firm decision has been taken on the centenary bond.

He told Class News: “At this stage, we are at the consideration stage, we are raising a number of questions to do some analysis. For example, is a centenary bond a good idea? If it is, how much can our economy afford? What will be the repayment schedule for example? What are the implications on debt sustainability? We have to go through a series of processes to arrive at a position, and then that position will be announced.

“The president has just signed eight MoUs and supervised two other contracts, those are the big things we can speak concretely to today. If he additionally mentioned that we are looking at the possibility of this in the future and if it happens we encouraged the Chinese to come on board, I don’t think we can reduce that to a full conversion now and say that government has decided to issue a $50bn bond and, therefore, what does the Minority think of it? No.

“I feel that we have to report accurately what has happened so that all of us, in terms of our analysis, can do our analysis fully. So at this stage, we are considering a centenary bond, that centenary bond could come in a particular ticket size. The consideration at this stage is to examine all the things that are associated with it; how have other countries done it; what is the ticket size; what is the implication on debt sustainability; could there be a possible moratorium? Etc., but those are not the big issues of today, those are just things government is thinking about.”

Source: Ghana/ClassFMonline.com/91.3FM



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