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Opinions of Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Columnist: theheraldghana.com

Akufo-Addo is always confused with figures

President, Nana Akufo-Addo, recently declared that, the erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC) government, handed over a debt of $5.2 billion in the energy sector to his administration.

This is not the first time the president has peddled an obvious falsehood. It has become apparent to many Ghanaians that, the president, has problem with figures.

In the build up to the 2012 elections, and in the twilight of his free Senior High School (SHS) promise, when he appeared on British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Hard Talk, hosted by Stephen Sucker, and he was asked how much the policy will cost, he fumbled with the figure.

Since then our astute lawyer president, has been churning out figures after figures, even when it is pointed out to him that he got them wrong./

One classical example is the allegation he made in December of 2014 that, the Kasoa Interchange was going to cost Ghana 172 Million Dollars.

It took many people to call candidate Akufo-Addo to order, including the New Patriotic Party Member of Parliament (MP) for Ejisu Juaben and ranking member of the Parliamentary Committee on Roads and Transport to point out to him that, he got his figures wrong.

The minority in Parliament last Thursday, challenged President Akufo-Addo, to prove the source of his figure.

According to them, President Akufo-Addo stated in his February 2017 State of the Nation Address (SoNA) to Parliament that “the power sector debt stood at $2.4 billion at the end of 2016”.

The minority continued that, at the opening of the 2017 World Bank Development Finance Forum in Accra in June 2017, the President once again, disclosed that the government was going to issue a $2.5-billion bond to offset the Legacy Debt in the energy sector, in order to create space for increased investment.

Going by these revelations, it is strange how the president arrived at his figure of 5.2 billion dollars. This cannot be a genuine mistake; it cannot also be a lapse on his part, it is becoming symptomatic of the president.

It is the opinion of this newspaper that, these shortcomings are addressed immediately. Our president is an orator, he makes sense when he reads prepared speech, his handlers should not be allowing him throwing figures around, like a kid learning numeracy.