Discerning Ghanaians were extremely surprised when Ex-President Mahama was heard on audio tape on Oman FM on Thursday 18th October 2018, purported to be excerpts of an interview with a certain journalist in somewhere 2015.
Quite surprisingly, in his response to a germane question on Ghana’s massive economic collapse under his watch, Former President Mahama was heard vividly explaining to the interviewer that it was not possible for him to improve upon the economic fundamentals barely 2 and a half years into four year mandate (emphasis mine).
Wonders shall never end, they say. Well, if former President Mahama was not in a position to improve upon a broken economy in 30 months in office, why must he then expect Akufo-Addo to conjure magic and fix the massive economic mess he (Mahama) left behind in only a few years into a four year mandate?
However hard the opposition NDC operatives will try to upbraid the incumbent NPP government over the economy, the fact remains that Ghana is heading towards a favourable economic growth.
The fact, indeed, remains that under Akufo-Addo’s presidency, Ghana’s economic growth has moved from a disappointing 3.4% in December 2016 to a favourable 8%.
And the previously double digit inflation (15.4% in December 2016) has been reduced drastically to around 7.6% as I write.
In fact, the seasoned journalist, Kweku Baako Jnr was absolutely right when he pointed out on Joy FM’s political show (News File) on Saturday 6/04/2019 that the NPP administration led by President Akufo-Addo has performed exceedingly better than the erstwhile NDC government led by former President Mahama.
Interestingly, juxtaposing the state of the economy in first two years of the two administrations, Kweku Baako Jnr aptly concluded that the economy was in a better shape under the Akufo-Addo’s administration than it was under Mahama’s administration.
Baako Jnr thus opined: “There’s no doubt that the Akufo-Addo administration has done far better than the Mahama administration; it’s as simple as that, the figures and the records support it (myjoyonline.com, 6/04/2019).”
More so it was not surprising when Vice President Bawumia disclosed during the recent Town Hall meeting that even the worst rate of depreciation under the Akufo-Addo government is 8.4% recorded in 2018 against the 9.7% recorded in 2016 under the Mahama administration.
Unsurprisingly, therefore, the Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Ms Christine Lagarde, asserted that the Ghanaian economy is in a better place than it was in the previous years under the John Dramani Mahama’s administration.
Ms Lagarde thus stressed that the Akufo-Addo’s government had made important gains towards macroeconomic stability, including inflation, which had declined to a single digit and now within the Bank of Ghana’s (BoG’s) tolerance band; buoyant growth, averaging about five per cent between 2015 and 2018, and, over six per cent in 2017-18) and a primary surplus in 2017 for the first time in 15 years (IMF 2018).
After his visit to Ghana, the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, commended the Akufo-Addo’s government: “Ghana met the targets for halving extreme poverty and halving the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water, and it achieved the goals relating to universal primary education and gender parity in primary school.
“In the period ahead, Ghana is set to become Africa’s fastest-growing economy in 2018. Bloomberg News has proclaimed Ghana as the “Star of Africa in 2018 Lenders’ Economic Forecasts”.
“And in reporting on the same fiscal policy achievements, Le Monde has pointed out that Ghana’s success is not just as the result of an oil-driven boom, but is also due to prudent economic management, an entrepreneurial population, the role of traditional leaders, and good governance.
“In addition, Ghana’s achievements in providing free schooling and free meals to students, and its creation of a health insurance scheme for the whole country are considerable accomplishments (Philip Alston, 2018).”
Ghana under the erstwhile NDC administration, so to speak, experienced massive economic downslide which regrettably brought to pass harsh socio-economic standards of living.
The vast majority of unhappy Ghanaians, rightly so, voted against the NDC and Ex-President Mahama in the 2016 election largely due to the unresolved business crippling dumsor, the unpardonable incompetence and the wanton sleazes and corruption which brought untold hardships.
Thus, it is quite bizarre that former President Mahama will find a cause to complain when he wilfully destabilised the macroeconomic indicators during his presidency.
Suffice it to stress that Ex-President Mahama is currently enjoying uninterrupted electricity, reductions in electricity tariffs, low inflation, tax reductions (including import taxes), favourable economic growth, and gargantuan savings on free SHS, amongst others.
In fact, some of us were extremely livid when former President Mahama out of meaningless benevolence doled out large portions of our scarce resources to inveterate NDC apologists like the founder of Ghana Freedom Party (GFP), Madam Akua Donkor, who in all honesty, contributed nothing meaningful towards Ghana’s wellbeing.
Ghana, to be quite honest, does not need a Father Christmas who would carelessly give away our hard earned resources. But Ghana rather needs a serious, a committed and a forward-thinking leader who can utilise our scarce resources judiciously to the benefit of all Ghanaians.
There is no doubt whatsoever that discerning Ghanaians were extremely concerned when out of unpardonable dereliction of duty and unbridled corruption, Ghana’s debt ballooned dramatically from GH9.5 billion in 2009 to an incredible GH122.4 billion as of December 2016, albeit with a little to show for.
It is absolutely true that discerning Ghanaians ventilated their arousing disgust when the erstwhile NDC administration disastrously collapsed the social interventions such as the School Feeding Programme, the National Health Insurance Scheme, the Metro Mass Transit, the Free Maternal Care, SADA, and GYEEDA amongst others.
In fact, no true Ghanaian will shrill and thrill over the GH800 million dubious judgment debt payments, including the GH51.2 million to Woyome which resulted in the drastic reduction of capital expenditure, and as a result, most contractors were not paid by the erstwhile NDC administration.
It is, therefore, worth stating that in spite of the seemingly insuperable odds, since assuming power, the Akufo-Addo’s government has taken commendable strides to improve the social mobility through implementation of poverty reduction policies such as free SHS, one district one factory, one million dollars per constituency, tax reductions, a dam per village in the northern part of Ghana, Planting for Food and Jobs, Planting for Export and Rural Development and Rearing for Food and Jobs, among others.
I have always insisted that governance is a serious business and as such it requires forward thinking, serious and committed group of people to bring about the needed advancement.
Nevertheless, it has not been always the case in Ghana’s democratic ambiance. The emergence of multi-party democracy has given birth to both purposeful and maladaptive political parties.
And as a result, we have over the years been electing dreadful economic managers who cannot see their backsides from their elbows and have only succeeded in sinking the economy deeper and deeper into the mire through corrupt practices.
K. Badu, UK.