Senior Vice President of policy think tank, Imani Africa, Kofi B. Bentil, has taken on the National Democratic Congress (NDC) over a pledge in its 2020 Manifesto to invest some $ 10 billion into improving the country’s infrastructure, wondering how the party will raise funds for the execution of the promise given that the country is already highly indebted and has no space for borrowing the said amount.
Mr Bentil argued that even though the country has a $20 billion infrastructure deficit, it does not have the money at fill in the gap due to other key expenses of government such as the Free Senior High School policy, which when government makes payment for, is left with nothing for other projects.
“We have $20 billion infrastructure deficit but after paying for FSHS, there’s zero left, how do you raise 10 billon she we’re up our foreheads in debt? #elevatethedialogue,” he asserted.
The NDC has touted the Big Push as a game changer in tackling Ghana’s infrastructure challenge and an employment avenue for Ghanaians, especially the youth.
Some critics have wondered how the party intends to fund the projects with respect to the constraints of the economy, stressing that it will be near-impossible to raise the money if it plans to borrow.
But Bolgatanga Central Member of Parliament (MP) and a leading voice of the NDC on Economics and Finance has been explaining that it is possible to raise the money notwithstanding the limitations imposed by the economy.
“The NDC has a fiscal strategy that will finance the big push and our flagship programmes in a fiscally responsible and sustainable manner. The following are some of the sources of funding the big push and related programmes through resetting the fiscal framework, re-aligning and reprioritizing Government spending to priority projects to achieve resource allocation efficiency.
• We will review the capping and re-alignment arrangements for the current management and utilization of the GETFUND. Since 2017, Government has capped the proceeds to the Ghana Education Trust Fund by an average of GHC900 million a year. The total over the four year period ending December 2020 is estimated at about Ghc3.6 billion. Unfortunately, our children continue to attend schools in poor educational facilities with double track still in force. Together, we with re-aligning and refocusing of about just 50% of the existing funding of about Ghc2.2 billion a year of GETFund, an additional Ghc4.4 billion from Getfund proceeds will be available to fund educational related infrastructure over the term of the NDC Government from 2021 to 2024. In total, investment in education will top GHc8 billion in four years at an average of GHC2 billion a year from Getfund alone,” part of his explanation reads.