The General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has dismissed President Nana Akufo-Addo’s reference to difficult times ahead due to near empty national coffers.
Johnson Asiedu Nketia has flagged the President’s constant assertion that he inherited a challenged economy as fault lines in the new administration’s overly ambitious and untenable policies.
“You cannot lie your way to power and come and take the people for granted,” the NDC General Secretary told reporters shortly after the President’s maiden State of the Nation Address on Tuesday.
The President had announced a “master plan” for the power sector “which will also explore the benefits of listing the VRA [Volta River Authority] and GRIDCO [Ghana Grid Company] on the Stock Exchange,” in a bid to revive the sector.
The President also said during the relatively short address to Parliament that “huge indebtedness of the energy sector constitutes the single major hurdle to Ghanaians enjoying reliable and affordable electricity supply.”
These, coupled with a national net debt of over $2.4 billion from the previous NDC administration, according to the President, will make his promise to put the economy in good shape a daunting task.
Reacting to the President’s address, Asiedu Nketia remarked that Nana Akufo-Addo’s administration was merely playing to gallery – copping public sentiments ahead of its inability to stand by its promise to stop private participation in the energy sector.
“Whether the state of the economy is good or bad, we are expecting you to deliver,” Asiedu Nketia challenged the President.
He said the NDC administration had moved to restructure power sector by privatising aspects of the electricity distribution, but “they [the NPP in opposition] said ‘no way’ and they indeed instigated workers of ECG [Electricity Company of Ghana] to be demonstrating. Now they are no longer going to sell ECG alone, they are going to sell all the major institutions in the power sector.”
“If it was bad at that time, what makes it good now?” he quizzed referring to the President’s announcement that the ECG, VRA and GRIDCo would be listed on the bourse.
“This whole business of let us win power at all cost and then we deal with the challenges later should be a thing of the past,” Asiedu Nketia said.
He wants the new administration to “stand for full state ownership for ECG, full state ownership for VRA and full state ownership for GRIDCo which they stood for when [NDC] was in power.”