Owusu Bempah slams Steve Hanke

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Ghana National Gas Company Limited (GNGC), Ernest Owusu Bempah

A Deputy Director of Communications of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Ernest Kofi Owusu Bempah Bonsu, has responded to Steve Hanke, professor of Applied Economics at the Johns Hopkins University in the US, for his recent attacks on government.

In a social media post, Mr Owusu Bempah noted that “There are several of this critique from our compatriots here in Ghana but when a foreigner who claims to know it all decides to inflict on us his all-knowing misdiagnosis of our situation, it calls for public concern.”

His comment comes on the back of recent commentary on social media by the American professor.

Attacks

Prof Hanke has in recent times attacked Vice-President Bawumia for the handling of the Ghanaian economy. He also recently attacked Private legal practitioner, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko for praising government on its handling of the economy.

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He has also challenged official economic data released by state institutions, including the Bank of Ghana and the Ghana Statistical Services.

“Leading member of the NPP, Gabby Otchere-Darko says Pres. Akufo-Addo deserves ‘praise’ for his handling of the economy. Spoiler Alert: Otchere-Darko must be on another planet.  Today, I measure #Ghana’s inflation at a stunning 81% per year,” he recently posted on twitter.

Response

But responding to the attacks, Mr Owusu Bempah stated that Steve Hanke lacks knowledge of Ghana’s economy, particularly inflation data.

“His understanding of our economic situation itself, without the corresponding data backing it, makes absolute undeserving of attention,” he said.

The NPP Deputy Communications Director emphasised that the Akufo-Addo government, particularly, the Ministry of Finance, deserves commendation for its handling of the economy ‘in these most challenging times.’

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He indicated that despite the slump in revenues, bills are being paid, including salaries, roads being fixed, and money found for programmes like YouStart.”

“Of course, unlike Steve Hanke, who sits far away behind his PC typing hogwash, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko isn’t living on another planet. He lives right here in Ghana and his experience is that of our political economy, and he has led several conversations on the way forward for Ghana’s economy,” he slammed.

YouStart

He said “it just so happens that a few days ago, the Akufo-Addo government announced a commercial Programme under YouStart that will offer a standardised loan product between GHS100,000 and GHS500,000.00 from PFIs to cover working capital requirements, business expansion needs, and the purchase of equipment or machinery by Programme beneficiaries.”

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He noted that the MoU between Government and PFIs will strengthen the links between education and job market stakeholders, provide access to finance, skills, and markets for young entrepreneurs and grow the capacity of the private sector to create jobs.

“That’s exactly what Gabby Otchere-Darko was applauding and commending government for. Quite clearly, nobody in the political mainstream is offering solutions that are remotely up to the task of dealing with our situation, and so when Gabby commends the Finance Ministry for their bold and decisive interventions, he was actually engaging in what is fair and proper,” he reiterated.

 

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