NPP Hits Back: Mills Told A Pack Of Lies At Media Interaction

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    NPPThe opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has described as a complete pack of lies claims by President J.E.A Mills that they (NPP) left the country’s economy in a “hard and parlous state” with a crippling Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) debt of GHS1.488 billion.
    At the Editors Forum on Friday January 7, at the Castle, President Mills laid blame at the doorstep of the NPP for the recent hikes in petroleum prices, adding that the opposition party should render an apology to Ghanaians for leaving behind such a huge TOR debt.
    But the NPP, in a press statement issued moments after President Mills’ interaction with journalists, said the President was economical with the truth and asked the ruling government to be truthful with the actual figures of the TOR debt.
    Read below the full statement issued by the NPP
    The President has finished his meeting with journalists at the castle to mark two years of his administration. Questions were asked about the many broken promises of the NDC government; from the drastic reduction in fuel prices to one-time premium payment for the NHIS. On all these broken promises, the president’s answer was that the situation the NDC inherited was so bad that it has been impossible to deliver on the promises.
    That is complete lie. Six clear months after the NDC government had assumed office and had time to review the state of the nation; they signed the Memorandum for Economic & Financial Policies, 2009 – 2012, that outlined Ghana’s policies for the period 2009 to 2012. In the policy memorandum, they gave the following testimony:
    Real GDP growth increased steadily from 3.7 percent in 2000 to 7.3 percent in 2008. This growth was fostered by significant debt relief which provided the country with fiscal space to embark on critical infrastructure investments, particularly in the energy and road sectors, as well as targeted social spending, all under the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS). The combination of higher output growth, declining inflation, and improved social spending under the GPRS framework contributed significantly to lower poverty levels. The national incidence of poverty declined from 39.5 percent in 1998/99 to 28.5 percent in 2005/06. At this rate, Ghana is poised to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving extreme poverty ahead of 2015.”
    On their inability to deliver on the one-time premium payment for the NHIS they promised, the President said that the state of the NHIS he inherited was so bad that they have to clean it up first. Here again, we wish to draw attention to the following testimony by Mills administration:
    In the health sector, there have been progressive improvements in the delivery of a number of important outputs. Most notable are: increase in life expectancy from 55 years in 2003 to 57.9 in 2006; the introduction of a pre-paid National Health Insurance Scheme in 2004; and the introduction of free maternal care for expectant mothers. These, together, have put healthcare within the reach of the poor and vulnerable groups.”
    Yet, after two years when the NDC has failed to deliver on their one-time premium payment, he comes back to tell Ghanaians that he inherited a mismanaged NHIS. Presidents Mills and his government have to be truthful.
    On the deceptive campaign message that they would reduce fuel prices drastically, they explained their broken promise on the excuse of some TOR debt. In the last two years, the NDC government has kept changing the TOR debt they met as a way of explaining their failures.
    A few examples:
    1. Hon Moses Asaga, Member of Govt’s Economic Team:
    At 9.34 pm on Monday, the 19th January 2009, Hon Moses Asaga, then a member of the NDC Economic Team, said on Matters Arising on TV Africa that the TOR debt at the close of December 2008 was GHȼ1 billion.
    2. Prez Atta-Mills, President of Ghana:
    Then, on the 14th April 2009, President Atta-Mills, during his encounter with journalists at the Castle, stated that the TOR debt at the close of December 2008 was GHȼ1.14 billion.
    3. NDC Government’s Transition Team:
    In May 2009, the NDC Government’s Transition Team released a document, supposedly coming from TOR, that put the TOR debt at the close of December 2008 at GHȼ473 million.
    4. Vice President John Mahama:
    Then, around 10.37 pm on Thursday the 11th June 2009, the Vice President John Mahama stated on Metro TV’s Good Evening Ghana that the TOR debt at the close of December 2008 was GHȼ930 million.
    5. Minister for Energy, Dr Oteng Adjei:
    The following day, the 12th June 2009, the Minister for Energy, Dr Oteng Adjei said on the floor of Parliament that the TOR debt at the close of December 2008 was GHȼ106 million.
    According to him, the under-recoveries at TOR, at VRA, at Bulk Trading Company, at Bost and others, all put together was GHȼ347 million at the close of December 2008.
    6. Dr. Kwabena Dufuor, Min of Fin & Economic Planning:
    On the floor of Parliament December 2010 contributing to a debate on the 2011 Financial Policy and Budget Statement, gave the TOR Debt at about GH¢880 million out of which he reported that the sum of GH¢445 million had been ‘clawed back’ from the debt to avoid Ghana Commercial bank from collapsing. He however added also that interest accumulation brought the debt back to GH¢630 million.
    7. Mr Alex Mould, CEO, National Petroleum Authority
    Then at 8.45 am on Tuesday, 4th January 2011 on Joy FM Super Morning Show, the Chief Executive of NPA, Mr Alex Mould, stated in the face of fresh fuel price hikes, that the TOR debt at the close of December 2008 was GHȼ1.5 billion.
    Then today at the Castle, the President gave yet another figure of GHȼ1.48 billion. This new figure is different from what he himself gave 21 months ago, different from what his own vice-president gave 19 months ago, and what his ministers and appointees have been giving in the last two months.
    President Mills and his government cannot deceive anybody. They must deliver on the promises they made. Ghanaians want delivery, not untruthful excuses!
    Signed:
    Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie
    General Secretary