Business News of Sunday, 12 March 2017
The Member of Parliament for the Builsa South constituency, Dr. Clement Apaak has challenged the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia to prove his competence in managing the Ghanaian economy by saving the cedi from further fall against major trading currencies.
According to him, Dr. Bawumia prior to the New Patriotic Party’s victory in the December 7 polls accused the Mahama government of ignoring solutions he proffered to Ghana’s ailing economy and the cedi adding that now is the time to make a difference.
“…Before he became the Vice President, he had engaged Ghanaians both home and abroad as well as the international community on a series of lectures largely about the economy and what he and his party had perceived was not going well. And the impression we all got including many Ghanaians was that they had the solutions to the challenges we were facing.
So if on the basis of these arguments persuasively, he and his boss, the President, are now in charge of the affairs of this country, then logically we have every reason to expect that he would be able to arrest the cedi as he has said on numerous occasions,” he argued on Citi FM’s News analysis programme, The Big Issue on Saturday.
There have been several complaints from some financial analysts concerning the health of the cedi which has been depreciating in the last few months. Figures available to Citi News from the Bank of Ghana as well as some forex bureau across the country show that the cedi has depreciated by about 5.4 percent between January and February this year on the interbank forex exchange market.
Some financial observers including the GN Research have also described the cedi as “the worst performing currency on the African continent” in recent times. The Minister Finance presented the 2017 budget statement to Parliament last week, however, the Minority in Parliament claimed that the document does not have a clear roadmap in stabilizing the cedi.
Mr. Apaak explained that although they [NDC] recognize the fundamental issues affecting the Ghanaian economy as well as implications on the performance of the cedi, the NPP disregarded their explanations when they [NPP] were in opposition. “That is not to say that we don’t recognize…that there were some fundamental issues that go to the core and foundation of our economy which has implications on how well our currency performs vis-à-vis other global currencies particularly the dollar.
We had always explained that we are largely an import dependent country, we don’t produce much of what we consume, we are also affected by global turbulence in terms of price vacillations. We had made all these arguments but they [NPP] said no, and that it was as a result of incompetence. Well we now have a competent team in place so arrest the cedi. That is the argument we are making,” he added.