Former President John Dramani Mahama has rejected claims by President Nana Akufo-Addo and government officials that they inherited empty state coffers in 2017, describing same as false.
President Akufo-Addo at a media encounter on January 17, 2018 said his government “inherited an economy that was in distress, choked by debt” coupled with weak macroeconomic fundamentals.
His vice, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia had on January 15, 2018 said though they inherited a heavily indebted economy, they had in less than two years, paid off 1.45 billion cedis. He said they inherited a debt of 3.1 billion cedis from the National Democratic Congress.
Several other government officials have on different platforms claimed the Mahama government left Akufo-Addo a highly indebted economy.
But former President Mahama told National Democratic Congress delegates at Asankragwa Tuesday that such erroneous claims ought to be corrected.
According to Mahama who is seeking the mandate of his party to contest the 2020 presidential election, his government left a lot of money in state coffers for Nana Akufo-Addo and his government in January 2017
He said proceeds from the 950,000 tonnes of cocoa sold by his government were left in the hands of Nana Akufo-Addo as well as 700 million cedis in the Road Fund with additional 200 million dollars in the Ghana Infrastructure Development Fund among others.
“[In] 2016 cocoa year, we hit 950,000 tonnes. Normally, it is in October that we sell the cocoa and the money comes in December. We made all the arrangements and the money was paid to government in December when we lost the election and eventually left office in January, all the money was left in the hands of the NPP. So if he [Nana Akufo-Addo] says he did not come to find money in the state coffers it’s a lie” Mahama explained.
He wondered what the 200 million-dollar cash his government left in the Ghana Infrastructure Development Fund have been used for, saying. “We didn’t take a pesewa from it; NPP inherited it. Where is the money?”
Again, Mahama said he secured some 200 million dollars to repay a Eurobond debt left by former President Kufuor, noting that amount was also left in the hands of the New Patriotic Party government.
Despite these and other monies he said his government left the NPP, Mahama said “most of the time you hear them [government appointees] say, when we came there was no money in the coffers; Mahama did not leave any money”.
He justified the money borrowed by tunder his tenure, explaining that those monies were used for infrastructural development including building of schools, hospitals, roads, and provision of potable water.
Mahama however wondered what Nana Akufo-Addo has used the 50 billion cedis his government has borrowed in two years for.
Meanwhile, he has chastised the government for selling to farmers, fertilizers which he procured for farmers for free.
“The most painful aspect of all is the fertilizer issue. We imported the fertilizer and embossed on them Ghana Cocoa Board, not for sale yet government has decided to sell to farmers at 80 cedis”.
As a result, he claimed most farmers could not buy the fertilizers which have now expired.