• Politics

    Bawumia’s criticisms of Mahama’s govt in 2015 that are biting back at him today

    In 2015, when Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia made the comments that are informing this article, he was the running mate to the sitting president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

    Together, they were regarded the game-changing team to save Ghana from what was also at the time termed a ‘failed or struggling economy.’

    Typical of his bold utterances in those periods, Bawumia took advantage of every opportunity to re-affirm the ‘economic wizkid’ tag he was known for, drawing in economic arguments at the least opportunity.

    Today, Ghana’s economy, under his tenure as the country’s Second Gentleman, is equally termed a struggling one.

    In fact, in the words of President Nana Akufo-Addo, “We are in a crisis; I do not exaggerate when I say so. I cannot find an example in history when so many malevolent forces have come together at the same time,” affirmed that times have really become hard.

    The same situation, or similar, existed within the period that Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia made the statements on how poorly he believed the John Dramani Mahama government had managed the economy.

    Read below the following transcript of what Bawumia told the media about Ghana’s borrowing spree, as well as what the New Patriotic Party government would do differently:

    “The reckless borrowing of this government has compromised the whole oil discovery. We need six times of our oil revenue just to pay interest, not even capital – interest on the debt. So, it is a very sad development. I mean, what fundamental issues that affect this economy have been addressed in this budget? You should ask yourself. What fundamental issues?

    “If we had spent the monies borrowed; and that monies borrowed is some equivalent of $37 billion over 7 years. Now, can you imagine what $37 billion can do in an economy? $37 billion. I mean, it’s an amazing transformation that you can see… when we are talking about a record, you can always talk, ‘we are going to do this, we are going to do that.’ The question is, what have you done? You’ve had 7 years in government. What have you done? Your record should speak for itself…

    “When the Kufuor government was there, with such meagre resources, so much can be pointed to as well. Infrastructure, as John Mahama says, if you point to infrastructure, you are engaging in an exercise of mediocrity. The IMF managing director but the nail on the head when he said that the borrowing done by this government has been used for consumption. It’s not me saying it. It’s been used for consumption and not for investment. This is the IMF’s assessment, and if look at the data that supports what he’s saying, the infrastructure to GDP levels has come down from 9.1% when President Kufuor was in office to 4.8% today. You’ve borrowed so much but you’re reducing your investment in infrastructure.

    “So, they can try to hoodwink us with pictures of development all over the place, but the reality is that they should have been doing twice as much. They’ve had 10 times as much resources as the NPP government had… the NPP alternative is a major alternative is going to be unveiled… I want to leave that to breath but we are going to built a new economy; a different economy… I will tell you what it is not: it is not a Dumsor economy, it is not a dead goat economy, it is not a friends and family economy. It is an economy that will create jobs.”

    What Fitch has said about Ghana’s public debt in 2023:

    The international rating agency, Fitch, has projected that Ghana’s public debt may reach 99% of its Gross Domestic Debt at the end of 2023, from 88% in 2022.

    According to Fitch, this will be due to the cedi’s persistent depreciation against the US dollar.

    For 2024 and 2025, it said public debt would decline to 95% and 94% respectively.

    The agency made these assumptions while considering Ghana’s debt restructuring and the current fiscal consolidations, taking into account the state of the economy.

    Ghana’s public debt as of June 2023 surged to GH¢575.5 billion representing 71.9 percent of the national Gross Domestic Debt.

    The new increment is a marginal rise of GH¢6.3 billion as compared to the GH¢569.2 billion public debt recorded in April 2023.

    The September 2023 Bank of Ghana Summary of Economic and Financial Data reveals that, the country’s public debt has increased by GH¢27.7 billion since January 2023.

    According to the report, Ghana’s external debt accounted for GH¢328.6 billion (US$29.9 billion), while domestic debt accounted for GH¢246.9 billion ($30.8 billion).

    The latest figures indicate that external debt shot up by GH¢7. 3 billion compared to April 2023 of GH¢321.3 billion, while domestic debt declined from GH¢247.9 billion to GH¢246.9 billion for the same period.

    Contrastingly, the Nominal GDP has held steady at GH¢800.9 billion as of June 2023, maintaining the same level as it was in January 2023. However, this represents a significant increase from the GH¢610.2 billion reported in June 2022.


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