Minister of Information and Media Relations, Mahama Ayariga, has debunked allegations by the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) that Ghana’s economy is in serious crisis.
He rather accused the Minority legislators of circulating this false perception about the economy in the media for political gains saying, ”…I think they [Minority NPP] just want to see if they can push down the throat of Ghanaians a perception that the economy is in crisis; the economy is not in any crisis.”
According to the Bawku Central Member of Parliament (MP), Ghana’s economy is only plagued with some minor challenges and ”once in a while, there is some challenge in an economy and the beauty of leadership is to gradually work its way to [solve] that problem.”
He however, expressed worry and shock by the Minority’s analysis of the economy.
The Minority in Parliament on Thursday made some revelations on how government is lavishly spending and investing in projects which they cannot account for.
Speaking at the press conference, Minority spokesperson on Finance, Anthony Akoto Osei alleged that the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) is spending $63,000 a month as rent for offices at the plush East Legon residential area.
He further noted that the Bui Power Authority is alleged to be spending an amount of $3 million on a Golf park and a recreational centre for staff of the Authority when the nation is rationing power due to low investments in the power sector.
The Minority explained that the government has shown irresponsibility in its expenditure and economic policy.
But the Information Minister expressed shock by the Minority’s analysis of the state of the economy saying, ”government admits that there are some problems here and there, but that is normal”.
”We have an issue of debt and we are working very hard to manage the debt; we are trying hard to make sure that we move most of our debt portfolios to long term finance programs so that we can ease the pressure…,” he said.
Mr. Ayariga stated on Eyewitness News that the Minority’s agenda to push down the perception of ”economic crisis” is unfortunate.
The NPP again called on government to terminate the $3 billion Chinese Development Bank(CDB) loan or re-negotiate terms in a way that will favour the nation.
Addressing matters of the nonpayment of statutory funds such as the GETFund, District Assembly Statutory fund and the National Health Insurance, the Minister responded that; ”the fact that a particular statutory is in arrears in not evidence of crisis.”
He warned that it is wrong for people to use the issue of statutory funds being in arrears as an indication that the entire economy is in crisis, adding that, the economy is bigger than the statutory funds in arrears.
”The economy is not just what government does; the economy also is what the entire private sector does,” he concluded.
Mr. Ayariga said Ghana’s economy is only evolving and can only get better.