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General News of Friday, 30 December 2016

Source: Myjoyonline.com

I still want the 170 answers - Bawumia takes another jab at Amissah-Arthur

The contest between Vice President Kwasi Amissah Arthur and vice president elect Dr Mahamudu Bawumia over mastery in Ghana's economic management will continue a while longer even after the elections.

Dr Bawumia said the famous 170 questions on Ghana's economy thrown at Amissah Arthur which became the toast of the campaign season remain unanswered.

Despite winning the elections and waiting to be sworn-in as Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia told Joy News' Seth Kwame Boateng he would still love to have answers to those questions.

"I hope he has left the answers in the handing over notes," he said in a light hearted jab at the outgoing Vice President.

Dr Bawumia and his wife became the toast of the election campaign with series of economic lectures, campaign jabs which got some members of the ruling government on the edge.

The vice president elect said it was the claim that his lectures were full of lies that forced him into putting those 170 questions out for the Vice President to answer.

Part of the questions were;

"1. Under the 8 years of the NPP government, from 2001-2008, taxes and loans amounted to GH¢20 billion. In contrast, taxes, oil revenue, and loans alone over the 8-year period of 2009-2016 would amount to some GH¢248billion.

2. Between December 2000 and December 2008, without oil, economic growth increased from 3.7% to 9.1%. After declining to 4.8% in 2009, real GDP growth increased to 7.7% in 2010 and 14% in 2011 following the onset of oil production. Since 2011 however, real GDP growth has declined steadily and drastically to 3.9% in 2015.

3. Between 2000 and 2008, the size of Ghana’s economy increased from some $5.1 billion to $28.5 billion, a 459% increase in eight years. Even in the face of a global economic and financial crisis in 2007/8 (with oil prices reaching a record high of $147/barrel), economic growth in 2008 rose to 9.1%. However, Ghana’s GDP, notwithstanding the discovery of oil, has only increased from $28.5 billion in 2008 to a projected $40 billion in 2016 (a 40% increase in eight years). However, between 2012 and 2016 i.e. during John Mahama’s tenure as president, the economy, in dollar terms, shrunk by 5%.

4. Under the NDC, GDP per capita has recorded a growth of 17% (from $1,266 in 2008 to a projected $1,481 in 2016) with oil revenue. Under John Mahama’s tenure as president (2012-2016), GDP per capita has declined by 12%. Under NPP on the other hand, GDP per capita recorded a growth of 187% in 8 years (from $440 to $1,266) without oil revenues. While the NPP increased per capita incomes by $826 during its term, the NDC, with twelve times more resources, has increased per capita incomes by only $215

5. In dollar terms, under the NDC, the minimum wage declined from $2.12 to $2.02 by 2016 (i.e. by 4.6%). Between 2012 and 2016 (during the tenure of President Mahama) the minimum wage in dollar terms declined by 23.6%! In comparison, the NPP increased the minimum wage from the equivalent of $0.62 in 2000 to $2.12 in 2008 (i.e. by 244%)..."

Insults

Dr Mahamudu Bawumia said his campaign was a fierce critique of the Mahama administration and his economic management skills and not an insult on his person.

On the contrary, he, his wife and the party's flagbearer were at the frontline of blatant insults from political opponents.

He said when the insults came then he knew his message has sunk in.

"Anytime I start hearing insults, then I know I have won the argument," he said, adding given the quantum of resources at the disposal of the outgoing administration and the level of development in the country nothing better will describe the Mahama administration than an incompetent one.

He said the response by the president to his incompetent jab exposed him to more criticisms and taunts of incompetence.

President John Mahama parried off the claim of incompetence, insisting neither Bawumiah nor his boss Nana Akufo-Addo were president and so they had no moral right to describe him as president.

He stated that only ex-presidents Rawlings and Kufuor had that right to call him an incompetent president a response that left many criticising the president all the more.