General News of Tuesday, 14 January 2014
Source: New Crusading Guide
Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, NPP Vice-Presidential candidate for the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections have stated that the National Democratic Congress-led Government which is in its sixth year has taken Ghanaians on a rough ride and that explains the current economic hardships the ordinary Ghanaian is facing.
Dr. Bawumia made the comments while speaking at the NPP-USA Congress held over the weekend in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Speaking at the Congress dinner, Dr. Bawumia queried “why are we still in first gear after five years of NDC governance? Let us make no mistake about it, the NDC is now in its 6th year of government and let us not allow them to hoodwink us into thinking this is their first year.
“Ghanaians are finding it difficult to understand why five years after voting for the Better Ghana Agenda: Parents are having a hard time with school fees. A large number can’t pay; Workers’ salaries are in large arrears; The DACF, GETFUND and NHIS are in arrears; Hospital fees have just been increased by 200%; The cedi is falling like a brick against the major currencies; Families and firms are struggling with high utility bills; Borrowers (individuals and firms) are struggling with high interest rates. Very recently, someone obtained a one year loan backed by security at 38% from a major financial institution, Contractors are not being paid; Importers are facing high import tariffs”
He was at a loss as to how oil producing middle income economy could be facing such economic challenges. “The Free maternal care, school feeding and national health insurance programs to protect the poor and vulnerable inherited by the NDC government are having major challenges. The cost of doing business has increased; Business confidence has declined; Teacher trainee allowances have been stopped; Allowances for Nursing and Midwifery trainees have been stopped; Dumsor Dumsor is apparently not over; Credit Rating Agencies such as Moodys and Standard And Poors have downgraded Ghana’s sovereign credit rating from B+ to B with a negative outlook”.
Simply put, Dr Bawumia stated, “Ghanaians are suffering. What is baffling to me and most Ghanaians is that this NDC government is the first government in the history of Ghana to have access to oil revenues and has also had access to more financial resources in terms of tax and non-tax revenues as well as borrowing more than any other government in Ghana’s history. Yet, it is finding it difficult to pay its bills. This is why Ghanaians are asking “Mini Sane?” “Wula?” “Ad3n?” to wit, “Why?”.
Dr. Bawumia proceeded to question why the unprecedented economic achievements the NDC had trumpeted just a few years ago had suddenly vanished. “Why have those unprecedented achievements suddenly vanished or gone up in smoke? In the case of this fire, we do not need US fire experts to understand why after 5 years, the claim of unprecedented achievements has gone up in smoke. It has gone up in smoke because it was never real in the first place. As I said a few years ago, propaganda and economic management should be kept far apart. They don’t mix and if you mix them you will soon be exposed” he opined.
Dr. Bawumia also touched on the government’s spending in the 2012 election year which had eventually created fiscal difficulties for the economy and worsened the hardships being faced by the ordinary Ghanaian.
“The crux of the problem is that government spending in 2012 increased astronomically to 34.5% of GDP even though government revenues amounted to 16.1% of GDP (a gap of over 100%) for the year. The government abandoned all fiscal discipline in an attempt to win the 2012 elections. Gifts of cars, 4x4 vehicles to chiefs and opinion leaders, laptops, tractors, money etc. were extended to buy votes:
He also condemned the decision by President Mahama to scrap the allowances for teacher trainees.
“I could go on but the point is clear. The NDC has basically taken Ghanaians for a rough ride over the last five years.”
Turning his attention on internal party strategies, he asked the NPP to adopt a proper response that will win them election since it is clear that going to the Courts to seek redress for electoral fraud is not the best option for electoral victory.
“The NPP must learn to fight hard and be more alert and combative at the polling stations in other to secure the votes that have come in our favor for us to get total and final victory in 2016”, he advised.
“You are all living witnesses that we assembled the best document, we proved that we had the best Lawyers, our arguments were well coordinated and well delivered, we told the Judges that the entire elections were fraught with malpractices but in the end what was the outcome? It tells us that the Court is certainly not the option for victory”.
He commended the US branch for the contribution they made during the election petition hearing.
Present at the function were Mr. Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, Ms. Adwoa Safo, both NPP Members of Parliament, Gabby Asare Otchere Darko, Dr Authur Kennedy among other party big wigs.