Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has fired back at former President John Dramani Mahama over his recent comments that Ghana’s economy is currently on a ventilator.
Mahama in a Facebook live address to the country said the coronavirus pandemic has exposed Ghana’s weak economy under the governing New Patriotic Party in just a month.
Reacting to the former president’s claims, Dr. Bawumia said Mahama failed to manage the economy successfully after 8 years of power thereby leaving the country in distress for the Akufo-Addo-led government to fix all messes created.
Speaking to the journalists at the Jubilee House after chairing a COVID-19 meeting, Dr. Bawumia listed some challenges the country was overwhelmed with during Mr. Mahama’s tenure including dumsor, unemployment, among others.
Listing the challenges, he said “The NDC was in government for 8 years. They may think that we have short memories but we can still remember very clearly the 8 years that they had in government to demonstrate their prowess in managing this country and the economy. After 8 years what did they leave us with? They left us with declining agriculture, declining industry, interest rates were high, inflation was high. In fact, if you look at the data in terms of macro-economic performance in any economy, since the year 2000, the tenure of the former president was the worst in terms of outcome in macro-economic performance. That’s the data, it’s not me saying it.”
“Banking system was weak, unemployment was rising, our National Health Insurance Scheme was back to cash and carry, we had 4 years of dumsor with its devastating impact on our economy and not even withstanding that, electricity prices were being increased by an average of 45% between 2010 and 2015. Our public finances were in a precarious state, of course, that resulted in us having to go to the IMF for a bailout, prices were being increased, there was a freeze on public sector recruitment, cuts in allowances for lecturers, abolishing of teacher and nursing training allowances, even common chalk was a problem in our schools. And this is really the history that NDC wants us to forget,” Dr. Bawumia said.
Calling on Mahama not to embarrass himself, Dr. Bawumia advised the NDC flagbearer to check the data available before he speaks on the true state of the economy.
According to the Vice President, Mahama must acquaint himself with the right data on the state of the economy before making embarrassing statements.
“We have been able to perform much better than the situation we inherited. In fact, the data is very clear. My humble advice to former President Mahama is to take a look at the data, this is not green book data, this is just the data. Take a look at the data before you speak, otherwise, you will end up embarrassing yourself.”
He continued that, “When it comes to the data, it has been very clear; in agricultural growth, we have performed better; industry growth, we have performed better; inflation, we have performed better, on the interest rate, we did perform better; exchange rate depreciation, we have performed better. That is the data.”
Dr. Bawumia finally told former president Mahama to compare the crisis of both governments and how each handled it, charging him to verify whose economy was/is robust after his assessment.
“If you want to test the robustness of an economy, you test it in a time of crisis. Thankfully, we have had two crises. Under the NDC, it was an internally-generated crisis, which was dumsor. Under the Presidency of Nana Akufo-Addo, there has been an externally generated crisis, which has been the global coronavirus pandemic.”
“I just want you to ask yourself, how have these two crises been managed? The dumsor crisis which crippled this economy for four years. What were the mitigating measures offered to businesses and individuals during the dumsor, an internally generated crisis? We saw that even during dumsor, electricity prices were being increased, fuel prices were being increased, teacher trainee allowances were being cancelled, nursing trainee training allowances were being cancelled. All of that was happening during that particular crisis.”
“You look at the coronavirus crisis and you look at the difference in terms of what has happened. The President has reduced electricity prices and has made it free for lifeline consumers. He has given free water to all Ghanaians for three months, has made sure that there is a stimulus package of GHC600 million for businesses and we have seen domestic production of PPEs (personal protective equipment) for our health workers locally.”
“So the difference couldn’t be more stark between the leadership under a crisis under dumsor and that under the coronavirus epidemic. So I ask a simple question, who will you trust in a time of crisis? The answer, I will say, is very very clear. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has shown leadership and concern for ordinary Ghanaians.”