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General News of Monday, 18 June 2018

Source: citinewsroom.com

Bawumia’s response on cedi depreciation ‘inappropriate’ – George Loh

Former National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member Parliament for North Dayi, George Loh, says Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia’s response to former President John Mahama’s critic of the depreciating cedi is “inappropriate.”

According to him, Dr. Bawumia’s response “smacks of a person who doesn’t know why he was voted for.”

“When Bawumia was in opposition, he always said that the fundamentals were not right and that was why the value of the cedi wasn’t good. So when you come, we expect that you put the fundamentals right so that the cedi would not depreciate.”

“So when it is being pointed out to you that even your time the cedi is still depreciating, they just want to draw your attention to the fact that the cedi is still struggling. So Bawumia should rather go for a proper understanding of the fundamentals and not chastise somebody for criticizing the government,” he said on Citi TV’s Breakfast Daily on Monday.

Mahama ‘mocks’ Bawumia over cedi depreciation

John Mahama took to social media last week to ridicule the New Patriotic Party government over the Ghana cedi which is said to be depreciating against major trading currencies.

Mr. Mahama had complained about the current cedi to dollar exchange rate, which he said currently stands at GHc4.7 to $1.

He accompanied his words with a short video of Dr. Bawumia supposedly expressing misgivings about the NDC’s handling of the local currency while they [NDC] were in power.

NPP’s economic fundamentals stronger than Mahama’s ‘mess’

Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia subsequently issued a scathing response saying Mahama’s criticism only exposed his lack of understanding on issues bordering on key aspects of the economy.

“It has been brought to my attention that former President Mahama has recently been talking about exchange rate depreciation. The former President’s comments once again, sadly demonstrate his lack of understanding on key aspects of our economy,” said the Vice President.

In Mr. Bawumia’s view, NPP has demonstrated to be “by far, better managers of the Cedi” than the NDC.

“In the entire 8 years of President Kufuor’s (NPP) rule from 2001 to 2008, the price of the Cedi relative to the dollar moved from GHc0.7 to GHc1.2, representing a depreciation of 72%. However, in the 8 years rule of both Presidents Mills and Mahama (NDC) from 2009 to 2016 the Cedi depreciated by 247%, moving from GHc1.2 to GHc4.2. Such higher rate of depreciation in less than a decade is simply unacceptable and signifies high levels of incompetence,” Dr. Bawumia said.

Fundamentals still weak

But George Loh insisted that the economic fundamentals under the NPP government are still not strong.

“What has he done about the fundamentals since he came into power? Our economic fundamentals are still weak. Not even rebasing will fix the value of the cedi if we don’t fix the fundamentals,” he added.