The New Patriotic Party has hit back at the ruling National Democratic Congress over insults and attacks on the personality and credibility of Dr Mahamudu Bawumia in the aftermath of the “State of our economy” speech delivered at the 5th Ferdinand Ayim Memorial Lecture.
In a press release signed by NPP Communications Director, Nana Akomea, he said Dr Bawumia’s exposé had left the NDC’s supposed claims of unprecedented achievements in tatters, with the NDC not being able to challenge a single statistic presented by Nana Akufo-Addo’s running mate.
According to Nana Akomea, the only option left for the NDC in the wake of Dr Bawumia’s speech has been “to attack Dr. Bawumia’s credibility but they have failed miserably and will continue to fail.”
Nana Akomea maintained that instead of government dealing with the issues raised by Dr Bawumia, the Ministry of Finance had embarked on a deliberate misrepresentation of facts intended to obfuscate the issues raised, warning that “it is important that we shield our hardworking civil servants from politics because they have to work with all governments.”
The NPP communications director bemoaned the deliberate twisting of Dr Bawumia’s call for a well-resourced Statistical Service which ought to be given more independence.
Nana Akomea explained that Dr Bawumia sought to point out, in his speech, that what the Statistical Service was capturing was not being reflected in the price developments of goods and services in most shops and markets, with most Ghanaians unable to relate to the talk of single digit inflation when they got to the market.
“Dr. Bawumia is calling for more resources and independence of the Statistical Service in the same way that NPP Government granted independence to the Bank of Ghana. Indeed, the very attempt by the Ministry of Finance to defend the GSS only buttresses Dr. Bawumia’s call for independence of the GSS,” Nana Akomea said
“Raising questions about data anomalies is normal. Were we all not in this country when after questioning our data, the IMF found out that in 2000 the Bank of Ghana deliberately misreported data to the International Monetary Fund for which the country was fined some $38 million dollars? Has the independence granted the Bank of Ghana in 2002 not helped?” Nana Akomea asked.
Nana Akomea maintained that the NPP, in its 8 year rule, expanded the economy by a six-fold increase from $5 billion in 2000 to $28.5 billion.
He explained that, rebasing of Ghana’s economy took place from 2006 only to correct errors that were present in data available, adding that, “there was no rebasing between 2000-2005 for example because the figures were presumably adjudged to be correct.”
“If the GSS believes that the GDP series before 2006 needs to be rebased, then why was the rebasing limited to just 2006 and beyond? We will all welcome such a rebasing if there is a rationale for it but until then we will assume that the data officially reported is correct. Ghana’s nominal GDP in US$ terms was some $5 billion in 2000. In 2008 it was $28.5 billion”, Nana Akomea further added.
On Ghana’s total public debt, Nana Akomea decried the NDC’s response to the fact that the debt they, as a government, have incurred in just 3 years of being in office, from GH¢9.6 billion in 2008 to GH¢25.3 billion in 2011, was for investment purposes.
Nana Akomea wondered whether the STX housing project would have been one of those productive investments that would have yielded revenues to service the $10 billion debt.
“The NDC should realize that Ghana and many other countries became HIPC because of this thinking. Were the loans taken during structural adjustment period not for “productive investments”? The European countries that are in trouble now they borrowed more than 100% of their GDP. Why did Ghana then end up as HIPC?” Nana Akomea asked.
On Ghana’s alarming exchange rate depreciation resulting in the cedi being tagged as Africa’s worst performing currency, Nana Akomea noted that for some strange reason the exchange rate seemed to depreciate at a faster rate during NDC administrations, adding, that “the throwing of foreign exchange reserves at the problem was futile.”
“The economy has been exposed by Dr, Bawumia as being in a weak position despite all the claims and attempts by the NDC to hoodwink Ghanaians. Dr. Bawumia has woken Ghanaians up to the NDC’s mismanagement of the economy and they will be shown the red card come December”, Nana Akomea concluded.