Politics of Tuesday, 23 August 2016
Source: New Statesman
The opposition New Patriotic Party has questioned President John Dramani Mahama’s claim that he has laid enough foundation for a sound economic takeoff and high growth from 2017.
According to the NPP, the President, as usual, is only being deceptive when he knows clearly how the economy has declined under his watch from an economic rate of 9.1% at the end of 2008 to 4% in 2015.
This was contained in statement signed by the Communications Director of the NPP, Nana Akomea, who asked if the President was going to take the country into the kind of growth achieved under the erstwhile Kufuor administration in 2008 or what was achieved in 2011 under the NDC.
“We note that it is not only the growth of the economy that has retrogressed under President Mahama. Inflation was at single digit levels when President Mahama took over. Today it is over 16%.The cedi had depreciated 4% in 2011, and Ghc1.80p bought one dollar. President Mahama’s policies saw the cedi becoming the worst depreciated currency in the world (30%) in 2014. Today Ghanaians need GHc4 to buy one dollar. The fiscal deficit was 4% of GDP at end 2011. President Mahama in his first year 2012 took the deficit to a record 12%. Today, even under IMF supervision and “policy credibility”, the deficit is in excess of 7%,” Nana Akomea disclosed.
According to Nana Akomea, the NPP is wondering how the President can turn the economy around after making it worse.
“President Mahama claims his government’s roads construction, for example, will make food cheaper and increase cocoa output. But we see food prices increasingly not affordable. As for cocoa, President Mahama inherited production at one million tons in 2010/2011 season. Today cocoa production is 800,000 tons under his watch.We could afford Eurobond rates when President Mahama took over in 2012. Today under his presidency, we simply cannot afford the rates offered,” he stated.
Nana Akomea enumerated how President Mahama had not once, but on many occasions promised to make the economy better which fail to materialize in the long run.
“In his new year message 2013, he told Ghanaians of ‘better times ahead’. In 2014 he told us the ‘economy will turn around in 2014’. In 2015, he told us of ‘better days ahead’. Now in 2016, he has told us of a ‘stable economy’. Mid 2016, he is telling Ghanaians of a ‘take off in 2017,'” Nana Akomea stated.
Nana Akomea cautioned the President to desist from the propaganda and walk his talk.