We will use dynamic leadership to improve the economy-Bawumia
Accra, May 3, GNA - Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, New Patriotic Party's (NPP) Running Mate for Election 2012, on Wednesday said the party would adopt dynamic and innovative economic management models to transform the economy if voted to power.
“The NPP have done it before under the leadership of Former President John Agyekum Kufuor and I believe it can be done again under the leadership of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
“Ghana's economy since independence has been characterized by long periods of high and volatile inflation and macroeconomic instability which has reflected in high and variable interest rates and significant exchange rate volatility and depreciation,” Dr Bawumia stated in Accra.
Dr Bawumia was the main speaker at at the sixth Ferdinand O. Ayim Memorial Lectures on the general theme: “The state of our economy” organised by the Danquah Institute.
The former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana asserted that excessive fiscal expansion in the run-up to the 2000 Presidential and Parliamentary elections tipped the economy into a cycle of inflation and currency depreciation, and “this coincided with a sharp deterioration in the commodity terms of trade”.
He recounted that in the short span of one year ending December 2000, the cedi, lost 50 per cent of its value against the US dollar while the country's gross international reserves were so depleted that it could not cover a month's imports, and external payments arrears were building up.
He said in spite of the challenges President Kufuor's Administration in 2001 adopted many concrete policies to make sure that the private sector was able to drive growth.
“Under President Kufuor social safety nets were put in place to protect the poor and vulnerable in society,” Dr Bawumia stated.
He said in the financial sector, the NPP Government also implemented a strategy aimed at repositioning Ghana as an International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) within the sub-region.
He said the numerous interventions resulted in the implementation of the National Youth Employment Programme, National Health Insurance among others.
Dr Bawumia said under President Kufuor, single digit inflation was obtained in April and May of 2006 but was eroded by the global financial and economic crisis.
The global environment increased the then government's expenditure on wages and infrastructure especially, leading to inflation jumping to 18.1 per cent by the end of 2008, compared to 40.5 per cent in 2000.
He said the NDC Government under President John Evans Atta Mills therefore should not consider the current single digit inflation as a major achievement, stressing that “Ghanaians deserve better than the NDC's Better Ghana Agenda”.
According to Dr Bawumia the ruling party's agenda is only enriching a few privileged people within its class to the neglect of the larger Ghanaian society saying, “The NPP will ensure an equitable distribution of the national cake to and not for the privileged few individuals”.
On Elections 2012, Dr Bawumia said the future was bright for the NPP to return to power as, according to him, many Ghanaians were suffering under the current administration.
He said: “what is important is for Ghanaians to unite and preach peace messages to ensure free, fair and credible elections in 2012. My message to the nation is the need for unity and to build bridges to each other and to the future. We are one people.
“We should not allow anybody or group of people to tear us apart. We should all recognize that notwithstanding our differences, Ghana remains a shining example in this world of a country where people live in harmony”.
Former President Kufuor, who chaired the programme observed that governance was becoming complicated and that politicians should acquire basic knowledge in economy to ensure that the people's lives were improved through a well built economy.
He described the late Ferdinand Ayim as a visionary and a committed youth and a selfless Ghanaian who served the nation with distinction and that he died for a just course.
He said the annual National Paragliding Festival in the Kwahu Mountains would serve as a “monument” in his memory.