19th July 2024

John Mahama

With reports indicating that the 2020 flagbearer of the NDC, former President John Dramani Mahama, is lacing his boot to battle for the slot again, UK based Economist Intelligence Unit(EIU) suggests his choice will be a bad decision for the opposition party.

This is in spite of the Unit’s prediction of a good chance for the NDC in the 2024 general election.

In its February 2021 Country Risk Assessment report on Ghana, the EIU states that it expects the NDC to present a fresh candidate for the 2024 election.

It adds that it expects the NDC to win the 2024 election, should it present a fresh candidate rather than Mr Mahama, into the general election.

“The next parliamentary and presidential elections are due in 2024. Under the constitutionally mandated term limits, Mr Akufo-Addo cannot run for a third term. Mr Mahama is reportedly considering whether to run again, but we expect the NDC to seek to revitalise its prospects with a fresh candidate. After two terms of NPP government, we expect the NDC to win the 2024 presidential election and to gain a small majority in parliament,” it added.

Breaking the 8

But Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has downplayed the projections by the EIU.

According to the Minister, the NPP government is rather bent on bettering the lives of Ghanaians between now and 2024 so much so that the electorate will retain the governing party in the 2024 polls.

Speaking at a press conference in Accra yesterday, the Minister noted that the report only serves as “guiding notes” and must be treated as such. He said the prediction is informed by the eight-year change of government between the NPP and NDC.

“We are very much aware of this tendency, but we believe that this whole thing where every eight years, even when the country is making progress,…power changes hands is something that can actually set us back. That is why this administration intends to work very hard to retain the confidence of the people by the time that our second term mandate is done so that we can break the eight years cycle.

“So, it will ordinarily be a risk but it is phenomenon that we are akin to break, and this expectation that every eight years power changes hands, which is what is informing what they have put out there, is one that we intend to break,” the Minister added.

Touching on the ways the government intends to transform the lives of Ghanaians, the Minister emphasized that the ruling administration seeks to re-engineer a recovery of the economy from where it is now, get the economy back on growth trajectory, create jobs and transform the general outlook of the economy.

Good economic outlook

Meanwhile, the EIU expects government’s revenue to rise this year, after falling in 2020. This is due to a rise in both oil production volumes and global prices. Non-oil revenue is also expected to increase in 2021 as the economy recovers. This comes after the sector was hit in 2020 by a smaller tax take due to declining domestic economic activity and lower import duty receipts due to reduced trade flows.

It predicts that from 2022, further increases in oil production will support revenue gains, with prices increasing in 2022-23 before falling in 2024-25. It adds that tax increases, combined with efforts to improve tax collection methods, such as digitising services, will help to boost government receipts.

The EIU also “expect a small interest-rate cut in 2021, to 14% (from 14.5% currently), as inflation is forecast to stay within the central bank’s 6-10% target range over the year and the authorities remain keen to support access to credit.”

“We then expect progressive tightening of monetary policy in 2022-25, to 16.5%, as inflationary pressures start to pick up, although rates will remain low by historical standards,” it said.

“After peaking at 75.9% in 2020, we expect the public debt/GDP ratio to fall gradually (notwithstanding a rise in the 2024 election year), settling at 70.3% of GDP by end-2025, owing to a period of economic growth,” it added.


Source: dailystatesman.com.gh

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