He based his claim on the Auditor General’s report which according to him, revealed that financial irregularities within the public sector shot up from about GHS700 million in 2016 to GHS12 billion in 2020.
“This level of leakage will definitely affect the ability of any government to deliver on its mandate and guarantee citizens an appreciable standard of living.
“The nonchalance and total unwillingness to address corruption in government is a major worry and will continue to affect our economic fortunes until the trend stops,” Mr Mahama said in a speech he read at the state of the economy forum organised by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) pro-forum Monday, September 6.
He added “When I called for a change in government in 2024 as the first step towards halting this hemorrhage of badly needed resources through corruption and holding offending officials to account, our friends in government took offense but it remains the only viable way to save the public purse in the face of abundant evidence that nothing will be done about the situation.
“Today, we have heard a lot of numbers and these numbers tell a story. We politicians like to recite them with aplomb, believing that they show our superior performance. Our people have often questioned the relevance and importance of these numbers by retorting that they do not reflect in their lives or pockets.
“They are justified in demanding a correlation between the numbers we boast about and improvements in their lives. To what extent have we been able to offer a tangible linkage between the talk about stable inflation and our people actually going to the market and finding that prices have remained the same over an extended period of time?
“Our people are just galled by the hypocrisy of so-called economic experts in 2016, asking them to forget about economic statistics and look at the escalation of prices of cement and other products on the market, and then today have the same experts in government hold-up statistics, inflation etc., and say that life is better for them. And that the perception of hardship in Ghana is a creation of Mahama.
“This is a conundrum for us all. How have we all ensured that when we have touted high economic numbers, it finds expression in the number of jobs created within the economy to guarantee our teeming youth a dignified existence within which they are able to meet their needs and those of their dependents? How has economic growth led to actual growth in the lives our people?
“We are at a juncture where these questions have become even more critical. Despondency, disillusionment and frustration over unmet expectations and our collective inability over the years to translate economic numbers into tangible outcomes and improvements in the living conditions of our people, are casting an ominous pall over the enthusiasm that greeted the democratic transition decades ago.”
“Our people are beginning to question, whether this whole democratic effort is not only a ruse to grant access to the resources of a country to a few privileged elites to do as they please with it and satisfy their creature comforts to the detriment of the masses who should be the ultimate beneficiaries.
“The much-heralded democratic dividend isfast turning into a mirage far beyond the reach of the people for whom it was intended. There can be no denial of the fact that Ghana is caught in the throes of deep socio-economic problems.
“Mounting unemployment, affecting millions of our youth, ever declining quality of education, problems with healthcare and agriculture, decaying infrastructure, corruption, weakening and politicization of state institutions, insecurity and unreliable public services continue to make life very difficult for the average Ghanaian,” he added.
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana