16th June 2024

Yesterday, at the Great Hall of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in Kumasi, Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia reminded Ghanaians of the harm former President John Mahama and functionaries of his past government did to the nation, querying what they seek a comeback to power to do.

Dr Bawumia was speaking at the government’s Townhall Meeting and Results Fair, focused on updating Ghanaians on the fulfillment of promises and commitments made by the NPP government ahead of the 2016 elections.

Referring to them as ostriches who admitted all the woes facing the nation, and yet ignored the need to apply appropriate remedies to halt the decline, Dr Bawumia wondered how Mr Mahama and cohorts can have the courage to now claim that they have solutions to the challenges facing the nation, especially when they misused the opportunity they had from 2008 to 2016.

Referring to the recent crisis in the banking sector, he lamented that, while the NDC government had ample time to address the impending failures, they failed to do so, even after warnings.

“Even in opposition, I alerted the country that on the basis of available data, eight banks were likely to collapse but they refused to act,” Dr Bawumia recalled.

“Unfortunately, if you don’t take your time and read and understand your textbooks in a subject like Economics, you will end up mismanaging the economy with ‘Akonfem’ economic management techniques with disastrous results.

“I have no doubt that the NDC will challenge what I have said here today, but just ask them to bring their own data to contradict what I have said here today and I bet you they will start insulting or run away to Burkina Faso!” he added.

Huge inherited challenge

He indicated that the Akufo-Addo government has achieved 78 per cent success of the 388 manifesto promises it committed itself to in 2016.

Taking the audience through the challenges the nation faced at the time the government took office, he said the NPP government has tackled them head-on.

“The challenge was huge. How could an economy that could not pay even teacher and nursing training allowances, suddenly deliver lower taxes; restore teacher and nursing training allowances; create jobs; implement Free Senior High School education, NaBCo, Planting for Food and Jobs, One Village One Dam, One Constituency, One Ambulance; reduce electricity prices; formalise the economy, industrialising the economy, reducing the cost of doing business, etc. while at the same time reducing the budget deficit and the rate of borrowing?

“It seemed an impossible task and our opponents were emphatic that we could not fulfill our promises. But we were very confident that, with good economic management and by the grace of God, we could make what seemed impossible possible. The data and the evidence are clear, that we have largely met our manifesto promises. We have delivered and are delivering on over 300 of our promises, and we are on course to do even more,” he declared.

Prudent policies

The Vice-President stated that the combination of prudent macro and micro economic policies and programmes implemented by the Akufo-Addo administration has strengthened Ghana’s economy, and restored the country to the path of economic development.

“Indeed, the strength of Ghana’s fundamentals was confirmed recently by Moody’s ratings, which changed Ghana’s sovereign ratings from B3 with a stable outlook to B3 with a positive outlook. This is unprecedented for an election year,” Dr Bawumia pointed out.

“For the first time in a decade, Ghana recorded primary balance for three years in a row. Inflation has dropped steadily from the high of 15.4 per cent at the end of 2016 to 7.9 per cent at the end of December 2019, about the lowest we have seen since 1992. For the first time in over two decades, the trade balance recorded a surplus in 2017, a larger surplus in 2018, and an even larger surplus in 2019.

“Even the cedi exchange rate under the NPP (2017-2019) is twice as stable as it was under NDC (2013-2016) – average depreciation of 18 per cent compared to 8.7 per cent. For the NPP to match the almost four-fold Usain Bolt-like dash of the nominal level of the cedi exchange rate under the NDC, the cedi exchange rate will have to reach some GH15/US$!” he stated.

External outlook

Making reference to the recent Standards and Poors’ upgrade of Ghana’s sovereign credit rating from B- to B with a stable outlook last year, the first upgrade by S&P for Ghana in 10 years, Dr Bawumia indicated: “This is a strong affirmation of the positive assessment by the international financial markets of Ghana’s economic fundamentals.”

“Just last week, Ghana successfully issued the longest-dated Eurobond ever issued by a Sub-Saharan African country with investors placing $15 billion of orders for Ghana’s 41 year Eurobond.

“The seven-year bond issued has attracted the lowest coupon rates ever for Ghana at 6.375 per cent compared with the 9.25 per cent Ghana had to pay for a similar Eurobond issue in 2016. This is a massive show of confidence in the Ghanaian economy by investors,” he added.

Source: Daily Statesman

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