General News of Sunday, 1 March 2015
The three-time Running mate to the main opposition New Patriotic Party’s Flagbearer has likened the Mahama administration to a mediocre football team which needs to give way to a better set of players who can win a match.
Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia told students of the Wa Campus of the University of Development Studies on Saturday that the most important factor that determines the performance of any team is competence and not hope, adding that a mediocre team will inevitably produce mediocre results.
Using the country’s senior national football team as an example, the former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana said: “Our Black Stars can be used as a benchmark for us to look up to because we have a Black Stars team made up of competent players in their own right. Competent players deliver results.”
“A mediocre team will give you only mediocre results no matter the hope you have in them,” he said, adding: “Teams don’t win just on the basis of hope. If a team has a coach who is not good and players who are not good, disciplined and committed, then of course everyone would be justified to be cynical about the chances of that team.”
The economist-turned-politician explained that it is for this reason that there are constant changes in the Black Stars and all over the footballing world at the playing and technical levels.
“Teams win because they work at it. A team performs when it has a competent coach or management whose tactics work and good, disciplined and committed players. Players who are not doing well are dropped for better players who fit the needed requirements. New coaches are appointed to replace coaches who are not getting results. These are the critical factors to ensuring performance for any team including the Black Stars,” he noted.
Dr. Bawumia said in like manner, governments which miss golden opportunities to transform their economies and improve on the living conditions of the people, should be shown the exit to pave way for a competent administration to deliver the needed results.
“If you choose a player who cannot perform, will you select them again? If you give a player the chance to take a penalty and they turn to kick the ball in the opposite direction – and turn around to tell you it is a smart penalty kick – will you field them again? “If you catch your goalkeeper or captain taking bribes to sell a match, will you field that goalkeeper or player?” he asked to which the audience kept responding: “No.”
“So same way players and coaches are dropped when they fail to perform, as a government when you waste a golden opportunity you should be shown the door. Three years after Ghana started exporting oil, we have arrived cup in hand at the door step of the IMF begging for a bailout! This is unforgivable!” he stressed.
He said it was befuddling that despite the current government having accrued much more resources than any government in the country’s history, the economy was now virtually broke because of mismanagement and the corruption.
Touching on the trend of borrowing witnessed under the Mahama administration, Dr. Bawumia noted that as a result of the accumulation of debt under the NDC, the interest payments Ghana has to cough up, will deprive the state kitty of funds to spend on critical sectors of the economy. Ghana debt stock is currently Ghc71 billion.
“The interest payments on this debt in 2014 alone is four times Ghana’s oil revenue in 2014! In 2015, Interest payments alone on the debt would amount to GHC9.5 billion (compared to a total debt stock of GHC9.5billion in 2008). How can this be described as smart borrowing? The increase in interest payments by 4.3% of GDP between 2008 and 2015 (i.e. from 2.8% in 2008 to 7.1% in 2015) has left the government with very little money to spend on other critical areas,” he said.