Saturday, 20 April

Gov’t’s mounting debts took Ghana to IMF – Ricketts-Hagan

George Kweku Ricketts-Hagan

Former Deputy Minister for Finance, George Kweku Ricketts-Hagan, has argued that the government's excessive reliance on external borrowing forced Ghana to seek a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). 

The country's failure to meet its debt obligations also contributed, Mr Ricketts-Hagan added. 

According to the deputy former finance minister, Ghana has substantial outstanding debts, including $2 billion to the Paris Club, $3.8 billion to the Chinese government, $3.8 billion to Non-Paris Club members, $8.8 billion to the IMF, and $14.9 billion to the Eurobond market.

“This accumulation of debt positions Ghana as the leading borrower in Africa.

“We went to the IMF because we were not able to service our external and domestic debts,” he stressed.

Mr Ricketts-Hagan highlighted that Ghana's external debt amounts to $31 billion, equivalent to approximately GHS 377 billion. 

Despite a domestic debt exchange programme, the burden of these debts continues to impact the government significantly, he bemoaned.

Speaking during an interview on the Ghana Yensom Morning Show hosted by Odeyeeba Kofi Essuman on Accra 100.5 FM on Friday, November 24, 2023, Mr Ricketts-Hagan attributed the government's return to the IMF to its insatiable appetite for borrowing. 

He argued that if the government had not engaged in reckless borrowing, there would have been no need to seek another IMF deal, especially after exiting an IMF programme in 2018.

Source: Mensah