Former Deputy Finance Minister Cassiel Ato Forson has encouraged Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia to pay attention to the data contained in the governing New Patriotic Party’s 2016 manifesto and the numerous promises the party has made in the recent past, and fulfil them since that is the social contract they have with Ghanaians rather than throw jabs at former President John Dramani Mahama.
Dr Bawumia told Mr Mahama on Monday, 4 May 2020, to look at the available data before he criticises the government after the flag bearer of the biggest opposition party said the economy was in intensive care following the coronavirus pandemic.
“My humble advice to former President John Mahama is: ‘Take a look at the data, this is not green book data. Take a look at the data before you speak, otherwise, you will end up embarrassing yourself’. When it comes to the data, it has been very clear; in agricultural growth, we have performed better; industry growth, we have performed better; inflation, we have performed better, on the interest rate, we did perform better; exchange rate depreciation, we have performed better. That is the data,” Dr Bawumia stated.
The Vice-President further accused Mr Mahama of mismanaging the economy during his tenure as president to the extent that there was no chalk for basic schools.
Dr Bawumia added that President Akufo-Addo has managed the coronavirus pandemic better than Mr Mahama handled the energy crisis which plunged the country into darkness for three years during his tenure.
Responding to Dr Bawumia in a statement, Mr Forson noted that the data shows the Akufo-Addo government has failed the people of Ghana.
Below is Mr Forson’s reply to Dr Bawumia
Mr Vice President:
We suffered dumsor in Ghana between 2005 to 2008 when you were a Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana and a member of the Economic management team. Can you remind Ghanaians about any stimulus package you provided to mitigate the plight of Ghanaians?
Comparing a pandemic to an energy crisis that occurred because the NPP Government failed to invest in power generation over an 8year period only reflects the confusion that has characterized the Vice President’s recent pronouncements.
In any case, it is inhumane to compare a pandemic killing human beings to an electricity generation problem that was resolved by the same government.
It is time to caution Dr. Bawumia not to be proud of cosmetic macro-economic data that fails to translate into economic well-being.
Today, Ghana’s public debt has increased from GHS 120.3 billion as at 31st December 2016 to GHS 235 Billion as at 31st March 2020.
Your government is struggling to service interest on public debt; as a result lenders have started charging penalties on delayed interest payments.
Sadly, our debt levels are so high that we risk becoming a high debt distress country yet you have failed to show humility and competence in fixing your mess.
Now, on the rant about data, Available data points to your monumental failure to keep your word to the Ghanaian people.
Here are a few reasons why:
1) When is Dr Bawumia going to make available the $18 billion Chinese loan he promised us?
2) When is he going to draw down on the $2 billion sinohydro loan?
3) What happened to “No village in Ghana will have a challenge with toilet and water provision within 2 years of an NPP Government?”
4) How about your promise that “Every Ghanaian will have a bank account by the end of 2018.
5) Cedi arrested and the keys given to the IGP? yet you have failed to check the free fall of the cedi.
6) The promise of providing the necessary incentives for private sector participation in health service delivery remains a mirage. What happened to it?
8) Implementing policies that will reduce the cost of doing business has been a hoax.
9) The pledge to provide a reliable and cost-effective mix of energy supply for businesses has probably been long forgotten.
10) Pursuing aggressive industrialization and value addition to agricultural produce has not seen the light of day.
11) The much-touted allocation of US$1 million annually per constituency has become a bitter fallacy.
12) The promise to develop interconnected roads, railways, ports and harbour (RRHPs) system remains a pipe dream.
13) The Water For All Programme has become another deception.
14) Dr. Bawumia’s promise to construct 570 dams in 2017 adds to his tall list of empty rhetoric.
15) Reducing the corporate tax rate from 25% to 20% has still not materialized.
16) The pledge to provide incentives for the hospitality and creative arts industry that will enable them create jobs has been another fiasco.
17) The promise to build hospitals in districts that lack them was totally forgotten until COVID-19 exposed the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia administration.
The litany of broken promises and outright deception is endless. I can go on and on.
Sir, pay attention to the data contained in the NPP 2016 manifesto and numerous promises you made in the recent past and deliver on them for that is the social contract the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government has with the people.
Cassiel Ato Forson (MP)
Finance Committee of Parliament