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Ghana hasn’t defaulted in its international debts payments – Abena Osei-Asare

Mrs Abena Osei-Asare, the Minister of State nominee at the Finance Ministry, says Ghana has not defaulted in the payment of its international debts but rather announced a debt restructuring, which is being pursued.

During her vetting at the public sitting of the Appointments Committee of Parliament in Accra, she said Ghana’s nominal debts now stood at GHS621 billion, which included the Energy Sector Levy Act (ESLA) bond, Daakye bond and the Sinohydro loan.

Dr Cassiel Ato Baah Forson, the Minority Leader and Ranking Member of the Appointments Committee, asked the nominee that ‘currently, Ghana has defaulted in the payment of all external debts, all the debts that we owe to other countries – bilateral (excluding multilateral), banks and country to country. Is this the case?’

Mrs Osei-Asare: ‘Mr Chairman, we haven’t defaulted on the payment of our eternal debts, we announced on the 19th of December, 2022, that we wanted to do a debt restructuring and so, we are halting on.., we did not wait to default but we
rather announced.’

She said the Government began and completed the domestic debt exchange and currently working on the external debts, hoping to make inroads and then go to the commercial.

‘So, that is what we have done. It is not the same as debt default.’

Touching on the ongoing intermittent power supply (dumsor) in the country, Mrs Osei-Asare mentioned illegal meter?connections as some of the contributory factors.

She urged Ghanaians to reframe from illegal connections and pay their electricity bills promptly to enable the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to provide better services to them.

‘Yes, it is a big issue in the energy space, but we also have to do our part, ECG loses about 30 per cent of the investment of the power they produce. How does this come about? The illegal structures, illegal meters and everything, they are human beings who do these things,’ she said.

‘In as much as government is doing its part, we as citizens will also have to change our attitudes towards these things and that
is the only way together, we can succeed and address these issues.’

‘Whenever your payments for electricity are due you have to go ahead and pay. As citizens who love our country and want institutions to succeed, we also have to do our part to help our nation.’

Responding to a question on whether the Government would reintroduce the road tolls, Mrs Osei-Asare answered in the negative.

Asked whether she was part of those in Government, who ordered the removal of the road toll on November 18, 2021, the Nominee said the decision was a political one made by the Government.

Source: Ghana News Agency