General News of Friday, 1 August 2014
Source: Office of Nana Addo
Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, running mate to Nana Akufo-Addo in the 2012 elections, says Ghana's economy is in crisis and collapsing under the weight of an incompetent economic management.
Speaking to delegates at the Radach Memorial Hall in Tamale, Dr. Bawumia explained that the crisis the economy finds itself in is evident in the fact that the Ghana cedi is now the worst performing currency in the world.
"When the New Patriotic Party left government, the exchange rate was GH¢1.1 to $1. Now you need GH¢4 in order to get $1. Our gross international reserves as it stands now does not even cover two weeks of imports. As an oil economy, we now have the world's worst gross international reserves."
Dr Bawumia explained that in the 8 years of NPP administration, under the leadership of President John Agyekum Kufuor, the Bank of Ghana spent $2.5 billion to prop up the cedi. However, under the ruling National Democratic Congress government, the Bank of Ghana has, in 6 years, spent a whopping $6.5 billion trying to prop up the cedi.
"This is why we need to sit up as a country. This government has no clue as to what to do to resuscitate the economy, but rather is scratching its head and citing reasons like dwarfs, high rise buildings and redenomination of the cedi.
"This is the first time I have heard of the 'mmotia' (dwarfs) theory of exchange rate determination. When, as a government, you have no idea what you are doing, you start reaching out for all manner of theories to explain your failures," Dr. Bawumia explained.
On redenomination of the cedi, which is one of the reasons being proffered by the NDC government to explain the cause of the depreciation of the cedi, Dr. Bawumia reminded the NDC that the cedi had been redenominated when they claimed to have achieved an unprecedented achievements in recording single digit inflation.
"The GH¢8.7 billion overspending in 2012 by the Mahama government, all in their bid to win the 2012 election, is why the nation is in a crisis The economy is collapsing, the centre cannot hold and now saying redenomination is now the cause of the cedi depreciation. This is an explanation of a clueless and desperate government. There is no theory in the world that links redenomination of a currency to the depreciation of a currency against major trading currencies," Dr. Bawumia stated.
He further added anytime the NDC takes over the governance of this country, "you know that hardship has come."
With a bag of cement now selling at GH¢43 and a gallon of petrol selling for GH¢15, Dr. Bawumia indicated that Ghanaians can no longer afford the rising cost of living under the government, as there is no sign of life getting better under this government.
Dr Bawumia stated that contractors have not been paid, the allowances of nurses and teachers have not been paid, and statutory payments to institutions like the GETFund, NHIS and District Assemblies Common Fund are arrears, with the excuse being given by government that "there is no money."
"However, when it comes to schemes like GYEEDA, SADA, SUBAH, needed to enriching themselves they will find the money for it," Dr. Bawumia stressed
In these times of economic hardship, despondency, rising cost of living, widespread corruption and rising unemployment, Dr Bawumia added that what Ghana needs is a leader with a vision who will solve Ghana's economic problems.
"In the NPP, we have that leader with a vision and he is in the person of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. His vision is to transform this economy from raw material producing economy, to an industrialised and valued-added one which will create the jobs needed for the youth of this country. This was why Akufo-Addo wanted to bring the Northern Development Authority, your own northern brother (John Mahama) bastardised it, only to bring SADA which ended up worsening the standard of living in the North," he added.
To the NPP delegates, Dr. Bawumia explained that no political party in opposition, in Ghana's history, has presented a new candidate for the first time and has won an election.
"The election petition showed in 2012 that the NPP won. We need a leader Ghanaians want. Change Nana and it means you want power in 2020," he concluded.