It is now common knowledge that Ghana has a debt profile, which at GHc43.9 billion as at August 2013, is said to constitute 49.5 per cent of our Gross Domestic Product.
Though there is some disagreement in opposition circles locally, as to whether the percentage to GDP was near the brink, the World Bank has warned that it could tend to stifle growth and deepen poverty in the country.
Quoting from the "Economic Strides for countries in African sub-region" during a teleconference from Washington to Accra, the Deputy Regional Chief Economist of the World Bank for Africa, Mr. Francisco Ferreira, attributed Ghana's "rather high financial deficit" to an increase in the country's infrastructure development and pro-poor programmes.
"The economy of Ghana is still facing liquidity challenges, with both revenue receipts and expenditure falling below their targets nine months into the year. The only exception is compensation for workers, which has overshot its target by 2.2 per cent; but Ghana can take charge of the situation if it improved its macroeconomic output," he said.
On her part, Ms Punam Chuhan-Pole, Lead Economist of the World Bank Africa Region, said with the exception of South Africa, countries in the sub-region were doing well, adding that South Africa's economic growth was two per cent.
"Africa's economic growth was projected to surge 4.9 per cent this year, but the bank said some were growing at an impressive six per cent. Currently, almost a third of countries in the region are growing at six per cent and more, and African countries are now routinely among the fastest-growing countries in the world," she said.
That, in a nutshell, is the Ghana Report Card from the World Bank: A 49.5 percent debt-GDP ratio has a tendency, if not well managed, to stifle economic growth and deepen poverty, but the economy is still growing.
The Chronicle finds it pertinent that the World Bank attributes the worsening debt situation to an increase in infrastructure development and pro-poor programmes. That is a good expenditure pattern, since it is not being used for conspicuous consumption.
But, it has raised questions of its own. It is being asked on social media as to where the infrastructure and pro-poor programmes are located.
The Chronicle could hazard guesses, but we deem it more prudent to leave the trumpet-blowing to the government itself.
If, indeed, the suffocating loans have gone into infrastructure development and pro-poor projects, then maybe there could be something wrong with the public information campaign of the Department of Information Services.
Why is no one hearing of these projects? Or is the World Bank referring to the few infrastructure projects that we all know - Bui Dam, Atuabo Gas Plant? And the pro-poor projects?
There are employees of the Ministry of Roads and Highways who remember the Kufour era with some nostalgia. When, even sod-cutting ceremonies were allegedly turned into jamborees for everybody to partake.