Questions Dr Bawumia must answer at the economic town hall meeting

Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia is sure changing the face of political conversation in Ghana and in no small way. Years from now, many presidential candidates will be looking out in the lot for a running mate that is better than Dr. Bawumia, and that is defining. The first of its kind town hall meeting scheduled for the Economic Management Team of the Akufo-Addo government to brief Ghanaians on how far they have managed the economy is just one of the many changes the once soft-spoken deputy governor has brought to the political game. At 55 years and with far limited exposure to this rough terrain of politics compared to other bigwigs in the New Patriotic Party, Dr. Bawumia sure is the new face of what political debate should be; and each passing day he does not only cement that foothold on being the best there is in empirical political argument, but is also setting the standards. And this is why; when most of the external public got to take notice of the name Dr. Bawumia, it was when then candidate Akufo-Addo picked a certain deputy governor at the Bank of Ghana as his running mate. Everything showed the economics genius didn’t know a hoot about what the word and world of politics meant in practice.  He got the baptism of fire and sure may have for a moment regretted leaving his ‘desk’ job at the comfortable gold watch gifting Central Bank for the muddy fields of politicking. But eight months at the Supreme Court as a star witness and well-taken lessons in political communication, propagandizing, below the belt jabbing and mal-information sure has transformed the once timid looking Dr. Bawumia to that pivotal force that arguably won the NPP and Nana Akufo-Addo the presidency on the third count of asking. The concerns of an over bloated voter roll, the economy- built on foundation of straws and the incompetence tag, which the NDC will wish very much to transfer, were all the creation by Dr. Bawumia and of course the very smart response to a question you don’t want to commit yourself to; ‘You and I were not there’.

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The questions But just a little over two years into the NPP’s administration and on the back of today’s town hall meeting on the economy, I think it is only fair as a citizen I get some responses as well. “When we came in, it [cedi] was running, essentially we have arrested it [cedi], and the IGP has the keys, he’s locked it up, we want to make sure we pursue sound policies to keep the cedi stable, it has appreciated for this year.“(April 17, 2017, first 100 days Of Akufo-Addo event organized by Joy FM) On the day you delivered this speech, the dollar to cedi rate was a dollar to 4.20 cedis. Today almost two year on, after almost 800 million dollars pushed into the system, the cedi exchanges for a dollar at 5.40 cedis. “If you are in doubt about the fundamentals (of the economy), look at the exchange rate” Mr. Vice president, would you say the fundamentals are right or since the cedi has depreciated at a decreasing rate under the NPP regime we can confidently say the marking scheme has changed as well? “Every project that has its cost inflated means job losses. If the building of a teacher’s bungalow in Dambai can cost nearly five times more under NDC than under NPP then it explains why NDC kills jobs” (2016). As at the last time of counting in 2018, at least 1 million Ghanaians lost their job between 2017 and 2018, the brewery and banking sectors contributing some 3,200. That the Vice President long predicted the collapsed of some major banks and diagnosed the cause of the job losses in the country at least a year ahead of his election, what is the reason for the inability to stem the growing unemployment in the bud; or the John Mahama tumour has turned malignant and the good economics doctor and his able team cannot do anything about it? “Revenue short falls will be taken care of despite the tax cuts … To address these challenges, the NPP will shift the focus of economic policy away from taxation to production…. The ensuing increase in production and economic growth arising from a streamlining as well as the elimination of some of these taxes will more than compensate for any interim revenue shortfall. The new tax regime where we have to pay NHIS levy separate from VAT; is that the dynamic shift you promised? Would you say, Mr. Vice President, that this is really the case “We have too much to go borrowing?” At the Paari Gbielle festival of the chiefs and people of the Tumu Traditional Area in the Upper West Region, on Saturday March 17, 2018, you said: “for the three northern regions this year (2018), we expect construction of 570 dams” Some of which you said would begin ahead of the raining season. Please how far with the 570 dams? Mr. Vice President, is Dumsor back?
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By Cyril Delali Dogbe|]]>