Mahama’s Ghana was a Ghana that went to IMF for credibility; also had high lending rate – Okoe-Boye

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Former Member of Parliament for Ledzokuku, Dr Bernard Okoe-Boye has said former President John Dramani Mahama cannot compare himself to the current President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the Vice, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia when it comes to the management of the economy.

He said on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday April 9 while contributing to a discussion on the public address delivered by Dr Bawumia on Thursday April 7 that, the current administration has done far better in managing the economy even with the Covid crisis than what the Mahama administration did without a major crisis.

His comments come after the National Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Sammy Gyamfi accused Dr Bawumia of using cooked figures for his analyses of the Ghanaians economy.

Mr Gyamfi said he felt sad for Ghana after reading the entire speech which was delivered by the Vice President because in his view, Dr Bawumia was insincere and failed to accept responsibility for the failings in the economy.

“I couldn’t listen to the live address by the Vice President but I have taken time to read the 129 page speech he delivered. After I did so, I felt sad for this country because we have a vice president who is very insincere and deceitful.

“The Vice President who is not willing to accept responsibility for his own economic mismanagement and the failings of this government. That 129 page speech is full of blatant falsehoods and a litany of excuses that do not hold water. The use of cooked figures and false statistical data to create an impression this government has done better when the true facts rather show that this country has had its economy deteriorated in the last five years,” Sammy Gyamfi indicated also on the same show.

But Dr Okoe-Boye who is also a Former Deputy Minister of Health replied him saying “My Brother Sammy Gyamfi said that Dr Bawumia was deceitful, he was insincere. As for that one, I believe it was a prejudice that existed before he spoke. But let me say that Dr Bawumia did an excellent job telling us where we came from, where we were as a country before Covid struck us and where we are now in terms of recovery and wayforward.

“Just 30 seconds of the Ghana we had when John Mahama was in charged. It was a Ghana that had lending rates on the roof, some banks were giving commercially at 30 per cent. The inflation rate was about 15 per cent, the Ghana that John Mahama gave us, growth had shrunk from 14 per cent in 2012 all the way to about 3.5 per cent of GDP.

“The Ghana we had had a fiscal deficit that was about 9.3 per cent of GDP. These are signs and indicators you use in looking at the health of the economy. In fact, the Ghana we had had ran to the IMF for policy credibility because they were not disciplined fiscally. That was the Ghana we had under John Mahama and his children Sammy Gyamfi and the rest.

“What happened in 2017? In 2017, within a year, growth doubled to about 7 per cent of GDP. Growth tells you averagely, the activities that happen within the economy. When you hear that growth has gone up there is a positive growth, it translates into wealth creation and opportunities. In fact, in 2019, the World Investment Report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) showed that Ghana was the number one destination of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in West Africa, that is the kind of country we had before Covid struck.

“When Covid struck, what happened to us? For the first time in many decades the Airport was closed; go and check the last time citizens were asked to stay in door for three weeks; when was the last time in Ghana that stadia were closed for close to one year? So if you have a woman’s who is selling waakye at the stadia, that woman will start suffering, someone who rents canopies for funerals that family will start suffer.”

Dr Bawumia in his address said among other things that Ghana is directly affected by the ongoing geopolitical tension between Russia and Ukraine.

He explained that Russia accounts for some 30 per cent of Ghana’s imported grains , 50 per cent of flour and 39 per cent of fertilizer.

The warfare therefore affected the local economy, he said.

“The increase in commodity prices has been exacerbated by the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Russia and Ukraine together account for 30 per cent of the global wheat export. The longer the conflict the greater will be the disruptions to global food supply. The country is also likely to slow global growth.

“According to the AfDB the price of wheat has shot up by 62 per cent since the war begun. The price of fertilizer is up by 300 per cent, the price of maize is up by 36 per cent since the war begin . Here in Ghana 60 per cent of our total imports of iron ore and steel are from Ukraine.

“Russia accounts for some 30 per cent of Ghana’s imported grains, 50 per cent of flour and 39 per cent of fertilizer . So we are directly affected by the Russia-Ukraine ware. Unfortunately, we do not know when it will be over. The global increase in fuel prices is causing hardship.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

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