Dr Mahamadu Bawumia
Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, an economist, has challenged recent assertions by President John Mahama and Finance Minister Seth Terkper that international ratings agency Moody’s upgraded Ghana recently.
The former Central Bank Deputy Governor, speaking at the launch of the manifesto of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) over the weekend at the Trade Fair in Accra, said: “With the recent revision of Ghana’s outlook from B- negative to B- stable (i.e. the equivalent of B3), the outlook was revised from negative to stable. And this has resulted in a misinterpretation by this NDC government and President Mahama that Ghana’s credit rating has been upgraded.”
Moody’s did not upgrade Ghana
“This is in fact not the case. Moody’s did not upgrade Ghana. Ghana’s rating under Moody’s is still B-. It is only the outlook that has been revised and that is not equivalent to a change in rating, or ratings upgrade. The outlook is not equivalent to an upgrade in ratings. Sometimes one wonders whether they don’t read or they don’t understand,” he explained.
Dr Bawumia stated that “without oil, Ghana was being rated at B+ positive, under the NPP. We’ve now come down with oil under the NDC and John Mahama, to B- with a stable outlook in 2016. So we’ve gone from B+ to B-.”
Noting that international ratings agencies like Moody’s, Fitch and Standards and Poors now had basically the same credit rating for Ghana, he advised the President to desist from such erroneous interpretations and fall on his economic management team for explanation.
Ghana worse off now
“The Mo Ibrahim 2016 Report on governance shows that on virtually all key indicators such as safety, and the rule of law, human rights, economic opportunities, infrastructure, business environment, human development, health and public management, all these indicators, Ghana is worse off today than it was 10 years ago.
“The IMF, in its recent review of the economy, has warned that Ghana is on the cusp of a financial and economic crisis. Notwithstanding this abysmal record, President John Mahama is actually asking Ghanaians where the economic crisis is. He is clearly out of touch. Mr President, the economic crisis is everywhere.”
“Teachers are suffering. Teacher trainees are suffering. Nurses are suffering. Nursing trainees are also suffering. Patients are suffering. Students are suffering. Traders are suffering. Pensioners are suffering. Drivers are suffering, contractors are suffering. Civil servants are suffering and farmers are suffering. Fishermen are suffering and industries are suffering. Artisans are suffering and ‘kayayei’ are suffering. The disabled are suffering and men are suffering. Women are suffering and children are suffering, and Ghanaians as a whole are suffering.”
Huge debts without substantial benefits
The incumbent is on record as having received huge resources and yet accumulating as much as 66 percent of the country’s debt in the last 3 and half years.
Some of its policies have driven the country’s industrial sector to register -5 percent in the second quarter of this year.
The country’s total public debt as at August this year totaled GH¢110 billion but there is still massive unemployment among the youth and high cost of living.
By Samuel Boadi