You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2019 03 19Article 731538

Opinions of Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Columnist: Citizen Kojo Nyame

Bawumia’s touted economics prowess in doubt as worsening economy gives Akufo-Addo nightmare

I do not have statistics on the number of times acclaimed analyst, economics and economics lecturers from the departments of the economics of our various tertiary institutions have gone round the country to lecture on the state of the economy of this country in the past.

I also cannot tell the number of times one-time finance minister, now Prof Kwesi Botchwey did that before he ingratiated the love and respect many have for him as an economic maharishi.

What I do know, however, is that in the run-up to the 2012 and 2016 elections, Dr Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia, then vice presidential candidate of the NPP, took turns to lecture Ghanaians on the economy.

As a former deputy governor of the Cenral Bank of Ghana turned politician, Dr Bawumia’s lectures were well tailored that many gave him audience any time he mounted the podium.

It is important to add that the series of lectures organised by Dr Bawumia were not just laconic but also strategic and timely.

This is because they were released at a time that the economy was taking a nose dive and all measures instituted by the government appeared to have failed.

His messages bit the then government so hard that intense pressure was mounted on his counterpart in the NDC, Mr Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur to counteract him.

Admittedly, the content of his lectures caused great damage to the fortunes of the NDC in the 2016 polls because the NDC failed to tame him but gave him a field day.

For instance, the NDC, could not provide succinct answers to the 170 point statements raised by Dr Bawumia including allegation that Mr Mahama’s poor economic policies were responsible for the collapse of businesses and tagged Mr Mahama as “incompetent”.

I must admit that many citizens who cast our votes based on good programmes, proposed policies, initiatives and interventions, fell in love with the “Bawunomics” series.

In a nutshell, many of us thought that Mr Bawumia was the much-awaited economics messiah that many Ghanaians have been waiting for a very long time.

Partnering Nana Addo, a human rights activists who staged the famous Kume Preko demonstration against the introduction of VAT in 1995, we believed that Ghana was going to be a safe haven under them.

Our hopes were raised even higher in the heat of the electioneering campaign when Dr Bawumia continuously assured Ghanaians that every money needed to develop the country was right here in Ghana.

According to him, incompetence and lack of prudent economic measures were the bane of the economy under the former regime and called on the electorate to vote them out.

As it were, the masses heeded the call of the self-styled economic messiah and did justice to his call during the 2016 elections by voting massively for the NPP.

As a matter of fact, little did we know that Dr Bawumia was rather mara amfani, mutum banza and has no economics dexterity in his head as we were told to believe.

Just two years in the reign of the NPP government under Nana and Bawumia, about six local banks have been collapsed by the central bank. Several thousands of unsuspecting clienteles of a gold dealership firm have been duped under the watch of the same central bank and the security and exchanges commission.

Others have been rendered jobless through hash economic policies that only display crass incompetence and visionless on the part of the government.

Dr Bawumia who told Ghanaians that he had a repository of knowledge on how to manage an economy like ours without borrowing, now goes round borrowing as though those things he said did not come from his head.

The worsening situation of the economy today speaks for itself and does not require and literature, analytical or scientific proof to say that Bawumia has miserably failed.

In the 2019 SONA, the president said “Ghana’s recent GDP growth has placed it amongst the highest in the world” yet the free fall of our cedi has made it one of weakest and cheapest in Africa.

The government can proud itself with the current inflation rate, GDP growth and the first time visit of the MD of the IMF, Christine Lagarde to Ghana as achievements.

Meanwhile, importers are crying about killer taxes, high import duties, record time fall of the cedi against major trading currencies and massive extortion by members of your national security operatives at the ports.

Traders at Abosei Okai who contributed meaningfully towards the electoral victory of the NPP are now crying like babies with their hearts in their palms but the president is busily trumpeting the visit of Christine Legarde which does not arrest the dollar.

So where is the competency of Bawumia as the head of the economic management team? Have you seen how reality has exposed you big time? Could your mutum banza attitude be the reason for the president’s inauguration of the Presidential Fiscal Responsibility Advisory Council, chaired Dr. Paul Acquah, former Governor of the Bank of Ghana?

Well in case you have not consulted before it inauguration, then let me explain to you that its purpose is to advise the President on relevant, additional measures needed to maintain fiscal discipline.

As it is gradually becoming a norm under this administration, I am tempted to believe that maybe Bawumia misled Nana Addo and the NPP to believe that his head was full of strategic economic policies in opposition.

The sharp contrast of the above led to PFRAC because Dr Bawumia’s failure has reached a crescendo as his government has introduced more taxes, superintended more corruption scandals, and worsening economy than it inherited.

In opposition, you spoke with a haughty supercilious voice so, after two years in power, your government can no longer use the previous government's policy as an alibi for your failures and crass incompetence. Duluwa.

I am still a Citizen.