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General News of Friday, 5 April 2019

Source: Graphic.com.gh

NPP has drawn economy back — NDC

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) yesterday described as inaccurate the economic records listed by the the government’s economic management team and said the economy has rather been drawn back in the last two years.

The much publicised civil society event was turned into a political jamboree by the NDC, where party stalwarts eulogised their performance in government, in direct response to an economic lecture by the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, in Accra last Wednesday.

The lecture, which was under the auspices of The Coalition For Restoration (CFR), a pressure group affiliated to the National Democratic Congress (NDC), was on the theme “Ghana’s rising fiscal risks, financial crunch and external vulnerabilities: A postmortem of the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) Programme and a preview of the economy without the International Monetary Fund (IMF)”.

NDC flag bearer John Mahama, Aseidu Nketia and executives

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Bolgatanga Central, Mr Isaac Adongo, set the ball rolling when he said the Bank of Ghana (BoG) pumped almost a $1 billion into the economy to stabilise the depreciating cedi in the first two months of the year, disputing claims by Dr Bawumia that there was no dollar injection to shore up the local currency.

Quoting from a Bloomberg Terminal, Mr Adongo said although the action was to shore up the cedi and give the government a positive outlook, "the cedi immediately faced a major attack and ended trading at GH¢5.6 to one US dollar".

Mr Adongo, who appeared energised by the presence of former President Mahama and some party bigwigs at the lecture that was held in Accra and attended by business associations, civil society organisations and party sympathisers, occasionally questioned the credibility of Dr Bawumia’s figures.

"Data released by the BoG last week indicated that Ghana’s net international reserves at the end of 2018 were $3.8 billion, which declined to about $3.1 billion by the end of February 2019. This means that the BoG had pumped $700m of our hard-earned net international reserves to stabilise the cedi," he said.

The lecture was on the theme: “Ghana’s rising fiscal risks, financial crunch and external vulnerabilities: A postmortem of the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) Programme and a preview of the economy without the International Monetary Fund (IMF)”.



BoG Data

“Data from the BoG showed that $700 million was used between January and February, with an additional $300 million added in March,” Mr Adongo said.

Dr Bawumia, at the town hall meeting on Ghana’s economy last Wednesday, had stated that Ghana’s debt-to-GDP stood at 48 per cent and indicated that the economy had been performing better in the last two years than it was under the Mahama administration.

But the MP said the figures given by the Vice-President were not a true reflection of the facts on the ground because they were outdated.

He said Bloomberg Terminal, which tracks the performance of currencies worldwide, currently had the cedi as the worst performing currency in Africa and

the implementation of the Sendai Framework. This is a serious duty NADMO cannot bear alone.”

Meeting

The consultative meeting was attended by representatives from metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs), NADMO, the security services, civil society organisations (CSOs), non-governmental organisations (NGOs), professional bodies such as the Ghana Institution of Engineers (GhIE), the Ghana Institute of Planners and the NDPC.

The participants cited ineffective coordination among stakeholders, the lack of a comprehensive national DRR policy, unreliable political commitments, high levels of political interference, among others, as issues militating against Ghana’s DRR plan.

They also mentioned inadequate and inaccurate DRR data, inadequate resources for DRR, a non-functional Sendai Framework Committee, the lack of a common platform for information sharing, the untimely response to disasters, inadequate early warning systems and inadequate involvement of communities in DRR planning.



Recommendations

The stakeholders recommended the assessment of institutional capacities and tasked NADMO to send an initial assessment report to all stakeholders by next week, the submission of a DRR plan by the NDPC and all stakeholders, the strengthening of the Sendai Framework Committee at NADMO as soon as possible and the creation of a common platform for stakeholders at all levels by NADMO.

The Sendai Framework

The Sendai Framework for DRR will apply to the risk of small and large-scale, frequent and infrequent, sudden and slow-onset disasters caused by natural or man-made hazards, as well as related environmental, technological and biological hazards and risks.

It aims to guide the multi-hazard management of disaster risk in development at all levels, as well as within and across all sectors, and offers countries the opportunity to adopt a concise, focused, forward-looking and action-oriented post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction and also complete the assessment and review of the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005–2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters, which is the predecessor to the Sendai Framework.