Page last updated at Monday, December 2, 2013 11:11 AM //
Funds meant for the repayment of loans contracted by the country would soon be channelled into a separate account to be opened by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.The initiative is to help ensure transparency in the repayment of the loans while giving international financial institutions an opportunity to track the country’s finances.
The Minister of Finance, Mr Seth Terkper, announced this at the maiden edition of The Forum, a new initiative by Channel 2 Communications to give policy makers a platform to discuss issues of concern to the country.
Speaking on the country’s deficit position, Mr Terkper said the government was aware of the deficit levels resulting from the huge loans contracted.
However, he said loans and their impact on the country’s deficit level should not be looked at in the negative perspective, given that majority of those loans have been used judiciously.
“I am aware of the headlines that the national debt is so much but the investment we do and the type of loans we take must be considered when talking about public debt.”
“If you look at recent borrowing that we have done, we borrowed for the Bui Dam, roads, gas processing plant, among others. There are tangible things we are borrowing to do and I think the important thing is what we borrow for and what projects we undertake,” Mr Terkper, who was the guest speaker at the event said.
Beyond the productive nature of these loans, the minister said the government was also committed to refinancing them as announced in the 2014 Budget and Economic Policy Statement of the government.
“We will set up an account for the repayment so that the international financial institutions will see things for themselves. That way, we will classify the public debt in two for the total public debt and the one the taxpayer has to pay and the ones projects are going to pay,” he added.
He, thus assured the citizens of a bright future, adding that “we shouldn’t be frustrated by some of the negative headlines about our public debt.”