August 29, 2018
A Deputy Minister for Finance, Abena Osei Asare has blamed the discrepancy in the exchange rate of the Ghanaian currency the cedi against the US dollar as the reason the sector Minister Ken Ofori Atta reported to Parliament that Ghana’s total debt as at December, 2016 stood at GH¢122 billion instead of GH¢120 billion as captured by the 2016 Auditor General’s report.

Responding to the concern raised by Chairman of the Committee to the effect that the Minister deceived parliament with the figures, the Deputy Minister explained that the ministry used the exchange rate as that time to arrive at the figure given by the Minister when he presented the 2017 budget statement to Parliament.

Ms Abena Osei Asare who is also the Member of Parliament for Atiwa East said these when she appeared before the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament to respond to queries raised against agencies under the Finance Ministry by the2016 Auditor General’s report.

“Yes, our minister confirmed GH¢122 billion, but you know that a lot of these debts are foreign-based or denominated and so these exchange rates differ. My minister reported this in March 2017 based on the current exchange rate at that time,” she stated.

“Anytime you are quoting your current liabilities, you need to quote it at the current rate. Certainly, Ghana took some loans way back in 1999. We cannot use the exchange rate of 1999 when we are talking about that loan and making some repayment. So, certainly, he will use the current exchange rate, “she added.

By Christian Kpesese/