Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and Former President John Mahama
Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has said the motive behind former President John Dramani Mahama’s attempt to come back to power is to ‘do more damage’ to the country’s economy.
He said the former President managed Ghana’s economy in a very incompetent manner whilst in office and the records were there for all to see.
“I hear the incompetent one says he wants to come back, he wants to come and do more damage, as if he didn’t do enough damage; well we’re waiting for him! We’re waiting for him! We’re waiting for him! Oh my God!”Dr. Bawumia said at a training programme for Metropolitan and Municipal District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) in Accra.
The five-day training programme was held under the theme: “Re-energising MMDCEs to deliver on Government Agenda” and brought together 254 MMDCEs across the country and some selected regional ministers.
In Tatale in the Northern Region last week, Mr. Mahama, who is staging a comeback to lead the NDC in 2020 after his humiliating defeat in 2016, said on his campaign trail that managing an economy is not the same as lecturing; in an apparent jab at Vice President Bawumia whose lectures on the economy mesmerized the previous Mahama administration at the time.
Dr Bawumia, an astute economist and banker, who was then running mate to candidate Nana Akufo-Addo, had said famously that “if you do propaganda with the economy, the exchange rate will expose you.”
Mr. Mahama appeared to be ‘equalizing’ when he stated in Tatale that “you can lecture on economy; but reality will expose you.”
He went ahead to say that Ghanaians were facing economic challenges and the tide could only be resolved by ‘experienced persons’ and not ‘economics lecturers’ who merely engage in theories.
He presented himself to the NDC supporters as the ‘experienced person’ and said they would return to power to solve the problems because, according to him, the Akufo-Addo government is not performing.
“That is what economics lecturers who are just theorists can come and lecture but they don’t understand that the practical of running governments is completely different. NDC has done it before, at any time that NDC has been in government, this country has made progress,” he bragged.
He said the collapse of seven local banks had contributed to economic hardship in the country.
Under his presidency, officials looked unconcerned for the banks to go down with his brother actively involved in the collapse of not less than two banks.
“Everything is linked to each other. And it takes somebody who understands the market and the realities of governing to know that if you are collapsing banks, it’s going to affect traders, it is going to affect farmers,” Mr. Mahama said.
He appeared to say the NPP promised ‘heaven’ whilst in opposition and was now delivering ‘hell’ for the people since they came into office.
“You can do all the propaganda you like to win political power, when you come to government, the reality of the people’s life will expose you,” he said.
“Where are the factories, where are the dams, where is the $1 million per constituency. It is easier to make electoral promises than to fulfill them. Making promises is easy, fulfilling them is a problem. That is what NPP has taught us. It’s easier to give political lectures on the economy than to manage the economy,” he added.
However, the Vice President, without mincing words, said Mr. Mahama’s record was so abysmal that he should be the last person to complain about the performance of the country’s economy.
He said the Akufo-Addo administration was clearing the ‘mess’ Mr. Mahama and his NDC administration left behind.
“But you have to remember what happened at the time we came into office after many years of incompetent economic management; you cannot describe it any other than incompetent economic management. After many years of such economic management, the people of Ghana gave us the privilege to change course but after just 20 months in office, the difference is clear.”
Vice President Bawumia indicated that the government remains focused on building a society that works not only for a few but everybody.
“We’re going to see some major changes in 2019, where we will begin full-scale operation of the Sino-hydro facility,” he said.
The Vice President announced that from next year, US$1.5 billion of the $2 billion Sino-hydro Barter Agreement signed with the Chinese firm would be utilised.
The money would be used to build health facilities, roads, bridges, drains and interchanges.
“Apart from cleaning the mess of incompetent economic management that alone is worth in itself, and we are putting in place the structures that will enable us to deliver,” he added.
The macro-economic indicators had recorded impressive improvement.
He also made reference to the year-on-year inflation which had declined from 15.4 per cent in 2016 to 9.9 currently and the reduction of the debt-to GDP ratio from 73.1 per cent to 64.4 per cent.
“The economy also grew from 3.7 per cent in 2016 to 8.5 per cent at the end of 2017 and the fiscal deficit was down to 5.9 per cent from 9.3 per cent, and these had come on the back of prudent management of the economy,” he added.
By William Yaw Owusu