“If President Mahama cannot achieve anything worthwhile during his tenure, he should at least try to solve the country’s power crisis and the dwindling rate of the economy” says Member of Parliament (MP) for Manhyia South, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh affectionately known as Napo.
Speaking on the topic, “Restoring the Value of the Cedi” at a Public Lecture organized by the Central University College (CUC) at their Miotso campus in Prampram, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia numerated what led to the current economic crisis and suggested various ways for the Mahama-led administration to put the economy back on its feet.
He raised issues with Ghana’s debt stock and stated that “in the last five years however, the stock of public debt has seen a dramatic increase to GHC 49.9 billion at the end of 2013. This is an increase in the stock of debt by GHC 40.4 billion or the equivalent of $20 billion using the average exchange rate for 2009-2013. This also represents an increase in the stock of debt by 426% over a five year period. This is a frightening rate of accumulation of debt by any standard.”
In an apparent response to this, President John Dramani Mahama said that the government will continue to borrow and use the money for productive ventures. He said there is evidence that developed countries achieved their level of development partly because they had engaged in prudent borrowing.
“There are some who claim Ghana is borrowing too much and that it is increasing the nation’s debt stock, but I dare say if you borrow and use it prudently, you are on the right course and that is what is important” he said.
Contributing to a panel discussion on Peace FM’s ‘Kokrokoo’, Napo expressed surprise at President Mahama’s swift response to Dr. Bawumia’s comment. He was of the view that as a President, he should have been the last to comment on such issues.
He bemoaned President Mahama’s attitude of swiftly responding to issues when there are several government communicators to speak on his behalf.
“He talks too much and most often what he says is not the exact reflection of what is happening,” he said.
The Manhyia South MP also advised the President to at least solve the energy crisis in the country before leaving office.
According to him, the current energy challenges has a direct impact on the economy, hence if that is quickly resolved, it could help improve the state of the economy.
“We are not asking him not to borrow, we are just asking government to reduce the rate of borrowing…We need to manage this situation…we also need to be truthful to each other in terms of the economy and then together we will find a lasting solution to our challenges,” Napo added.