Banking consultant calls for review of Ghana’s constitution to cap government borrowing

October 10, 2023
Banking Consultant Richmond Atuahene
Banking Consultant Richmond Atuahene

A banking consultant, Richmond Atuahene, has proposed a review of Ghana's 1992 Constitution to impose a cap on government borrowing practices, similar to the ' procedure where Congress permits borrowing limits.

Speaking during the Ghana Economic Forum in , Atuahene emphasized the need for constitutional changes to prevent excessive government borrowing.

He cited the international debt-to-GDP guidelines and suggested, “We need to come to the constitution and amend it as soon as possible…This is one of the shortest strategies that I will recommend so that we don't find ourselves in such a situation ever again, borrowing and borrowing for consumption.”

Ghana is grappling with an economic crisis and recently secured a $3 billion bailout from the () due to rising public debt. The government's excessive borrowing has faced criticism, with concerns about the impact on the economy and citizens' well-being.

Former Finance Minister Dr. Kwabena Duffuor expressed disappointment, stating, “Why do you owe money when the roads are so bad?” Meanwhile, Professor John Gatsi from the University of Cape Coast Business School called on the government to engage in debt negotiations and debt restructuring.

The call for a constitutional amendment aims to establish fiscal responsibility and prevent unsustainable borrowing practices that can burden the country and its citizens.

Ghana's public debt reached 569.3 billion cedis ($49.7 billion) at the end of April, according to the , excluding state-owned enterprise obligations.

The constitutional amendment proposal seeks to address this financial challenge and provide a legal framework for responsible borrowing, aligning Ghana with international standards.

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