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Opinions of Monday, 7 December 2015

Columnist: Daily Guide Network

After the epistle


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Reactions to Dr Mahamudu Bawumia’s latest epistle on the economy from the National Democratic Congress (NDC), as it were, have been relatively measured and limited. That is not to say that there have not been a few insulting ones from serial callers and appointment holders with limited or no knowledge of economics.

These though have comparatively come nowhere near the previous knee-jerk invective-laden responses from serial callers. They have, however, fallen short of directly addressing the integrity questions on the management of the economy as posed by Dr Bawumia.

Such answers would perhaps have to wait for the committee which we have learnt has been empanelled to study the presentation and to respond accordingly. Fantastic idea!

In their inner sanctuaries those of them who have something to do with economic management, we bet, have read over and over the presentation as if doing so in the open and even doffing their hats for it would be political heresy.

The Communications Minister, Omane Boamah, has unsurprisingly deviated from the new standard. He appears to be running the ministry as if it is a Goebbelian enterprise; hence, his smelly response. He said he was too busy with more serious issues than listen to Dr Bawumia. We did not expect him to clap for Dr Bawumia anyway.

The reality is that if one of Ghana’s top economists on the other side of the political side is dissecting government economic policy and a communications minister says he finds the discourse or activity unworthy of his attention, then he must be occupationally irresponsible. How else can he respond to the issues tackled by his political opponent whose previous predictions about the effects of bad government policies have always come to pass?

We know such issues are beyond him though, and being complex and not matters about medical diagnosis and treatments, he is unable to comprehend them adequately enough to respond sensibly.

Interestingly however, Finance Minister Seth Terkper, who is primed to respond on such matters, has done so rather lamely with a rhetorical question: “Why should Dr Bawumia dwell on the negatives and leave out the positives?”

Really, we wonder whether Seth wants the economics wizard to also do propaganda for the government. No opposition element does propaganda for government. That is why good governance should be a cornerstone of the government: open thievery, institutional neglect, wanton breaches of international best practices in procurement and contract awards are beaming like neon lights.

We are glad that a committee has been set up to study Dr Bawumia’s discourse with a view to coming out with an appropriate response. After all, the vice presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) did not blow hot air as the communications minister sought to impress sneeringly.

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