Former Minister for Finance, Seth Terkper, has questioned the basis for which the incumbent Government boasts of better fiscal consolidation and better management of the economy when its fiscal deficit and debt-to-GDP is hovering around 13-15 per cent and 76.7 – 80 per cent respectively.
Mr Terkper, the lead partner of tax firm, PFM Tax Africa, speaking on the fiscal consolidation ‘achievements’ of the incumbent Government, states that the 4.7, 3.9 and 4.5 per cent fiscal deficits reported for 2017, 2018 and 2019 respectively, were engineered by the incumbent Government with the exclusion of exceptional costs, compensation and interest rate payments among others.
“How can you say you are performing better than the NDC Government when your debt-to-GDP is getting closer to 80 per cent when the NDC Government ended with 55 per cent,” he questioned.
“The NDC ended 2016 with 6.8 per cent fiscal deficit, but you are ending 2020 with close to 15 per cent, so you can’t be performing better,” he added.
Mr Terkper in countless media engagements has disagreed with claims by the NPP that the need to finance the fiscal gap created by the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in the ballooning of the fiscal deficit, noting that the fiscal gap created was catered for by the $1 billion IMF Rapid Credit Facility and $100 million loan from the World Bank coupled with drawdowns from the Ghana Stabilization Fund (GSF).
Speaking to norvanreports on Friday, November, 20, Mr Terkper once again debunked assertions by the incumbent Government that, it was bequethed to a bad economy, positing that from the oil sector alone, the NDC Government aside the Jubilee oil field, left two additional oil fields -TEN and Sankofa – from which the NPP started generating oil revenue as early as 2017 – the same year the party came to power.
In addition, he noted that the NDC bequeathed to the NPP, strong buffer funds such as the Ghana Stabilization Fund and Sinking Fund meant to be used in times of crisis like the Covid-19 pandemic.