General News of Mon, 29 Oct 201839
We’ll only accept century bond after a national referendum – Haruna Iddrisu
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Minority will not accept the Akufo-Addo administration’s ambitious $50 billion bond unless it is backed by a national referendum, the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, has said.
The Minority leader insists that the country’s already worrying debt stock made the issuance of the century bond an unwise decision.
“Today the NPP through the Finance Minister is telling the world is telling the world that they are looking to raise $50 billion century bond; a loan payable in 100 years. We demand that that decision can only be subjected to a national referendum before it will have our endorsement as a political party,” he said, while addressing delegates at the NDC’s youth and women’s conference.
The decision to issue the $50 billion century bond was first announced by President Akufo-Addo when he visited China in September.
The government has said the move to issue a century bond in the future is aimed at accelerating the country’s infrastructure development.
“There is a proposal for the administration to consider a century bond as has been done for example by China, Argentina, Austra, Ireland and even Mexico which provides ultra-long-term financing at low rates and helps you to principally refinance our current debt stocks but also provides financing for some of the major items that we intend to embark on; railway, regional intercity motorway, things like the regional airports. Industries that require financing as well and at this stage, this proposal is being considered,” Information Minister Designate, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has said.
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has already hinted that the next budget reading will reveal the processes for the issuance of the bond.
According to Mr. Ofori-Atta, the issuance of the bond should also help address major challenges confronting the economy such as the cedi depreciation.
“I think the concept will be in there and the fundraising will begin immediately after the budget. We are excited about it because we have gone through the worst of times as a country and certainly we need to increase liquidity in the system,” he said.