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Government clears GHC6 billion Mahama debt

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration, led by President Akufo-Addo, succeeded in paying off over GH¢6 billion of outstanding claims it inherited from the erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration in 2017.

Presenting the Mid-Year Budget Review to Parliament yesterday in accordance with the PFM Law (Act 921, 2016), Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, said the current administration has managed to get the country’s economy on sound footing after inheriting an ailing one on January 7, 2017.

The presentation of the budget focused on overview of recent macroeconomic developments, representation of revised 2018 fiscal outlook, analysis of the revenue expenditure and financing performance, key highlights of 2018 budget implementation and key policy initiatives.

He stressed: “I am pleased to report that at the end of 2017, in less than one year, our collective effort had put the economy back on track.”

This, according to the minister, was “evidenced by the following indicators: reduced the fiscal deficit from 9.3 per cent at the end of 2016 to 5.9 per cent; reduced inflation from 15.4 per cent as at the end of 2016 to 11.8 per cent; reduced gross public debt to GDP ratio from 73.1 per cent as at the end of 2016 of 69.8 per cent; Grew GDP from 3.7 per cent as at the end of 2016 to 8.5 per cent and reduced interest rates (91-day treasury bills) from 16.4 per cent as at the end of 2016 to 13.3 per cent.”

He told lawmakers from both sides of the House that “in addition, we managed to pay off over GH¢6 billion (including ELSA payments) of outstanding claims that we inherited.”

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“Mr. Speaker, that is how we have prudently utilized the very limited resources that we had these last 18 months to stabilize the economy, invest in our people and ease their heavy burden which translate into money in the pockets of our fellow Ghanaians,” he explained.

Some of the claims inherited by the Akufo-Addo administration included monies owed road contractors, unpaid health insurance claims, among others

Mr. Ofori-Atta disclosed that the Akufo-Addo administration has addressed the economic mess created by the previous Mahama administration.

He said government was putting in place key macroeconomic measures to finally bring an end to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) $918 million loan programme by the close of 2018.

He said government was also putting in place measures to ensure the irreversibility of macroeconomic gains in post-IMF era.

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