“I am really humbled by the supplication of Kwesi Botchway. Perhaps we misunderstood Dr. Bawumia…if his statements have been reaffirmed by Kwesi Botchway, who am I? How can I bastardize people who are experts in this field (economy)?” questioned the Central Regional Communications Director of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Allotey Jacobs.
Former Minister of Finance in the erstwhile Rawlings regime, Prof Kwesi Botchwey, delivering a lecture in Accra organised by the Central University College on the theme “State of the Nation’s Political Economy and the Role of Civil Society” gave a general outlook of the economy and also made various suggestions on how the economy can be put back on track.
According to Ghana’s longest serving Finance Minister, the country for many years has lived beyond its means and the time has come for macro-economic stability to be restored.
“I’ll like to repeat without exaggeration that the Ghanaian economy is in a crisis,” he said; pointing to high inflation, double-digit budget deficit, depreciation of the cedi and the general lack of growth in the economy. GDP growth, according to him, had declined from 9.4 per cent in 2011 to just 3.4 per cent in 2013.
He also added that: “The country can decide that we will not go to IMF for funds; we can decide that instead of medium term drawing at lower cost from IMF, we will borrow from international markets at greater costs and short tenure and with pretty much the same conditions. It does not matter which of the choices we make, when we do not have clearly spelt out policies which would convince our partners that we are able to pay for the loans we are taking then it would even be difficult for the creditors to give out the loans in the first place,” he said.
Prior to this, 2012 running mate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia had made similar comments on the same platform.
Even though majority of Ghanaians agreed with some if not all of his submission, he was highly criticized by members of the ruling government.
But analyzing Dr. Kwesi Botchwey’s lecture and juxtaposing it to that of Dr. Bawumia, the NDC Central Regional Communications Director said “perhaps we misunderstood him”. He admitted that there was some truths in the submission of Dr. Bawumia and added that there is the need to now come together as Ghanaians and fix the ailing economy.
Contributing to a panel discussion on ‘Kokrokoo’, Allotey Jacobs added that “from what he (Kwesi Botchwey) has said it means that all hands should be on deck; doing things to salvage the economy. If others will not do it, we will do it ourselves. It is true we are facing challenges but we are surviving as a nation and that should push us to move forward. I agree that there is the need to come together and put our shoulders to the wheel”.