Former Finance Minister, Seth Terkper has advised government to learn to put international support to good use and reap its full benefits while it lasts.
According to him, a seeming failure of the usurped Afghanistan government to use the international support they received to build strong structures resulted in them being found wanting when the United States and its allies departed the country.
Terkper, speaking on JoyNews’ Upfront, stated that Ghana could find itself in a similar situation should international support finally be fully withdrawn.
He explained that with Ghana recently declared a middle-income country, international aid funds and grants have been dwindling sharply, leaving the country to borrow more.
“We have become a middle-income country; for example, we see our reliefs, we see grants and others dwindling. And that is because we have now gotten into a certain global definition of a middle-income country, and that is how you will be treated.
“If you continue to think that these resources will continue flowing – and it was JoyFM that said this morning that by 2024 government does not see much of the resources coming, which is what happened when I, as Minister of Finance on behalf of his excellency the President, Mahama brought HIPC to a close because the funds from HIPC were no longer coming. There was room to borrow,” he said.
He, however, expressed concern that should the country continue to borrow at the rate it is doing now, it would result in dire consequences.
He stated that, with the country now considered a middle-income country, it would no longer be treated with baby hands when it becomes heavily indebted.
“And so if you continue to borrow today, we’re not borrowing to fill a space that was left by debt forgiveness, and that was why we seem to be moving back to a HIPC status.
“But remember this time around, we’re no longer a fragile state, we’re no longer a developing country, we’re a middle-income country, and the world will be looking at us as such,” he said.