Dr. Bawumia made this point while speaking to students of the Tamale Polytechnic at a massively patronised forum organised by the Tertiary Education Students Confederacy (TESCON) chapter on the Campus to welcome first year students.
Commenting on SADA which was one of the many avenues people in government had used to misappropriate public funds, Dr. Bawumia said: “The case of SADA is especially sad with the misapplication of resources meant for northern development by northerners who should have been more empathetic towards their own.
The stealing of these monies has a direct impact on the suffering of our people. Imagine the number of boreholes that could have been constructed, clinics, schools, etc.”
Dr. Bawumia then proceeded to comment on the government’s allocation to SADA for 2015 as contained in the 2015 Budget presented to Parliament.
“To add insult to injury, the 2015 budget allocation is GH¢400,000. i.e. an average of GH¢80,000 per region or $25,000 for each of the five SADA regions for 2014. GH¢80,000 or US$25,000 is just about the amount the government spends on building one 3-classroom block. It cannot even build a 6-classroom block per the government’s own figures. This is against a promise of GH¢100 million per year for 20 years for SADA! In fact, the 2014 budget allocation of GH¢400,000 for SADA is an insult to all of us. How will this amount impact on the development in the north?” he asked.
Touching on the current sorry state of the Ghanaian economy, Dr. Bawumia explained to the students and other residents of Tamale present at the event, that the current malaise was as a result of the mismanagement of the economy since 2009 and the unprecedented levels of corruption.
Using concrete data to support his comments, Dr. Bawumia pointed out that since 2009, the NDC administration had accrued unprecedented resources from taxes, gold, cocoa, loans and oil.
“In the area of taxation, the NDC government has collected a total of some GH¢ 62 billion in the last six years (2009-2014). In the eight years of the NPP government, the total tax revenue collected was GHC 15.2 billion.
“The NDC government has borrowed the equivalent of some $27 billion (i.e. the US dollar value of the debt at the time of borrowing) between 2009 and 2014. During the eight-year government of the NPP (2001-2008) the government borrowed the equivalent of some $ 5 billion (i.e. the US dollar value of the debt at the time of borrowing),” he said.
He continued: “Ghana’s gold exports over the last six years under the NDC government amounted to $25 billion. In the eight years of the NPP government, total gold exports amounted to some $9 billion.
“Ghana’s cocoa exports over the last six years under the NDC government amounted to some $14.5 billion. In the eight years of the NPP government, total gold exports amounted to some $7.4 billion. Indeed, cocoa and gold prices were some 50% higher in the period 2009-2014 than the 2001-2008 period.”
Adding the oil factor, he said, “Ghana has also become an oil exporter during the period of the NDC government. Ghana has exported some $13.7 billion of oil in the last four years. There were no oil revenues accruing from oil exports during the 2001-2008 period of NPP governance.”
Dr. Bawumia noted that despite these resources, if the country is broke and cannot afford to fulfil basic statutory demands and payments and had had to seek refuge in the IMF, then it could not be an issue of resources but one of mismanagement and corruption, likening the government to an individual who is blessed with so much resources but ends up broke because of mismanagement.
He also informed the audience that the NDC’s recent claims of doing so many projects could not be sustained because the data showed that despite all these resources and the added oil revenue, Ghana was now spending a lesser proportion of its income on capital expenditure/ infrastructure than it did before the production of oil.
“The increase in oil revenues notwithstanding, capital expenditure as a percentage of GDP has actually been on the decline from 7.1% of GDP in 2009 to 5.2% by 2015. It is in fact a travesty that Ghana before the discovery of oil was spending a higher proportion of its income on infrastructure investment than after the discovery of oil.
So next time you hear an NDC official try to convince you that they have done a lot of projects remind them that in fact they have not. Remind them that the people of Ghana have paid more for their mismanagement and corruption than what they claim to have spent on projects. They should have done much more given the resources they have had. The data shows quite clearly that infrastructure expenditure as a proportion of GDP has declined!”