I respect Bawumia but his figures were selective- Seth Terpker
5/5/2012 5:30:10 PM -
A deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning says the credentials of the New Patriotic Party vice presidential candidate as a technocrat is undeniable but said his analysis of the state of the economy was misleading.
Seth Terkper said Dr Mahamadu Bawumia was selective in his use of figures during his lecture on the state of the economy and therefore failed to give an accurate presentation of the true state of the economy.
The NPP Vice Presidential Candidate had in the Ferdinand Ayim Memorial lecture on Wednesday cast doubt about the unprecedented economic achievements government spokespersons so eloquently speak about.
He said the economy is being largely administered on propaganda basis with the inflation figures hardly reflecting the conditions on the ground.
Bawumia indicated that under normal circumstances, the single digit inflation ought to correspond with the exchange rate, interest rate and the cost of living in the country but that, he noted, was not the case.
He said the Mills administration was festering with corruption, adding there is very little to show for the unprecedented revenue at the disposal of the current government.
Bawumia has since his lecture been up for criticisms by some leading members of the NDC.
On Joy FM and MultiTV news analysis programme Newsfile on Saturday, the deputy Finance Minister Seth Terkper said Bawumia, who was also the former Deputy Bank of Ghana was inconsistent in his use of figures to back his claims.
He was however charitable in his criticisms: 'Obviously I disagree with many of the points raised by Dr. Bawumia and also I just want to pay him compliments. Let's not forget that until recently as late as last Month he was still a top notch employee of the African Development Bank, so he remains a technocrat. I think that we have to look at what he says both from the political perspective and the technical perspective which is something I do respect,' he stated.
On his substantive argument the deputy minister pointed out that Bawumia used different figures- figures before and after rebasing of the economy for comparisons which could only give a misleading conclusion.
He cited Dr. Bawumia's comment which said Ghana's Budget Deficit in 2008 was 6.5 per cent of GDP instead of the 14.5 per cent quoted by the Statistical Service.
According to him, Bawumia arrived at the conclusion of 6.5 per cent only because he conveniently used figures after the rebased economy, even though the Statistical Service arrived at 14.5 using figures before rebasing.
In 2010, The Statistical Service announced Ghana had become a lower middle income country after rebasing the economy. The base year for the rebasing was however 2006.
Seth Terpker also subtly accused Dr Bawumia of impugning the integrity of the Statistical Service and other State Institutions urging him and all others to respect and preserve the integrity of our state institutions.
He said the NPP conveniently used figures from the Statistical Service to back their arguments when it is in their favour but quickly turns around to label the Service as not independent when the figures are not in their favour.
But the head of Communications of the NPP, Nana Akomea who was also on the show debunked claims that Bawumia was selective in his use of data.
He said the NPP vice presidential candidate only sought to clip the propaganda wings on which Ghana's economy was flying.
In agriculture, he wondered how the government spokespersons will trumpet unprecedented achievements in irrigation wells, boreholes, buffer stocks, combine harvesters for rice and maize when figures on the sector were pointing downwards to 0.8 per cent.
'Agriculture grew at 7.2 per cent three years [ago] and after all these unprecedented achievements and you go to the growth rate of agriculture and it is 0.8 per cent. That is what Dr. Bawumia sought to put out.
'You go to fisheries and you remember they said Kufuor was not from the coast and so he couldn't deal with the welfare of fishermen. And you go to the figures and you realize that fisheries grew by over 17 per cent government in 2008 and it grew by -8 per cent when we are being told they are the government that cares for fishermen,' he said.
Nana Akomea also dismissed assertions that Dr Bawumia impugned the integrity of the Statistical Service and other state institutions.
He said most of the figures he put out were from the Statistical Service and could certainly not be attacking the integrity of the same institution.
'He was only worried about the inflation figures that the connections that should be when inflation is of a certain stage are not there,' he noted.