Mahama’s Measures Not Good Enough To Serve as Solutions For The Prevailing Economic Situation In Ghana: Razak Kojo Opoku Writes

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John Mahama throughout his uninformed lecture offered LESS significant solutions to the prevailing economic problems of the country. John Mahama failed to demonstrate that he is a credible alternative to the NPP.

According to John Mahama and Hon. Ato Forson, President Akufo-Addo should implement the following measures to deal with the economic situation in the Country:

1. Cutting the number of Ministers to 65 and budget of the Presidency to save the public purse.

Response
During the peak of the 4-year Energy Crisis(Dumsor), the number of Ministers under John Mahama was 85.

Just like Mahama thought that 85 Ministers were needed to solve Dumsor, perhaps President Akufo-Addo is relying on the number of his Ministers to help address the prevailing economic conditions in Ghana.

Moving forward, there should be a law that cap the number of Ministers that a President can appoint.

There is a difference between Budget Total and Expense Total. It is very possible that the budget earmarked for the Presidency is not actually incurred and it would have been prudent for John Mahama to verify the Expense Total of the Presidency for his argument instead of relying on Budget Total for the Presidency.

Besides, there are several Agencies under the Office of the President and their respective Budgets formed part of the Budget Total for the Presidency.

2. Halting the building of the National Cathedral.

Response
The building of the National Cathedral is a predominantly private sponsored project backed by the Government. The National Cathedral is of course a good project to the Glory of God and the Christian Community.

During Dumsor crisis, Mahama’s Government still provided the necessary support for the construction of the National Mosque.

3. Pulling out if not too late the hosting of Accra 2023 All African Games.

Response
The benefits that Ghana is expected to derived from the hosting of the 2023 All African Games surpasses pulling out. The hosting of 2023 All African Games would contribute to the growth of Ghana’s GDP and boost tourism as well.

Interestingly in 2014 during the Dumsor crisis, John Mahama airlifted $3 million to Ghana Black Stars in Brazil.

4. Revisiting Operation Feed Yourself, and eating of our local foods.

Response
This is a very good call and I am imagining if NDC had revisited the “Operation Feed Yourself” during their 27 years of political power in Ghana. NDC has just wasted 27 years of governance without acknowledging the relevance of the “Operation Feed Yourself”.

Akufo-Addo’s Government strongly believe in the Operation Feed Yourself that is why we came up with Planting for food and jobs, Rearing for food and jobs etc.

It is good that we eat our local foods and it is something that President Akufo-Addo has been advocating since 2017 and even his days in opposition.

5. Deploy Ameri and other power plants to export power to neighouring Countries to acquire forex for the Country.

Response
Export of power(electricity) is one of the topmost priority of Akufo-Addo’s Government. Ghana under Akufo-Addo’s Government has been exporting power/electricity to Burkina Faso, Togo, Benin Republic and Ivory Coast.

Ghana has been able to sustain the export of power to our 4 neighboring Countries for 50 years now.

6. Let Ofori-Atta go, IMF and Budget can proceed without him.

Response
Just like John Mahama kept faith with Seth Terkper when he took Ghana to the IMF the same way President Akufo-Addo is keeping faith with Ken Ofori-Atta to finalize the IMF negotiations and presentation of 2023 Budget to Parliament.

However, I would like to remind John Mahama that, his Finance Minister, Seth Terkper NEVER achieved a single digit Inflation throughout the 4year period as a Finance Minister.

The Inflation records of Seth Terkper are as follows:

2013———11.67%
2014———-15.49%
2015———-17.15%
2016———-17.45%

It is very important to state that Ken Ofori-Atta who is being hated and crucified by both the NDC and NPP has actually achieved single digit inflation for a 4 year period and they are as follows:

2018——-7.81%
2019——-7.14%
2020——-9.89%
2021——-9.99%

Again, let me also point out to John Mahama that, it took Ken Ofori-Atta to:
1. raise money for the sustainability of Energy supply and distribution in Ghana culminating in solving Dumsor that Seth Terkper failed to do.
2. Cancelled more than 16 Nuisance and Killer taxes that were introduced by Seth Terkper.
3. Raise money to restore Allowances for Teachers and Nursing Trainees that Seth Terkper advised you to cancel.
4. Raise money for implementation of Free SHS and TVET, something that Seth Terkper failed you to achieve.

Dumsor was the only issue that badly impacted the performance of Seth Terkper but in the case of Ken Ofori-Atta, he is being affected by COVID-19 and Russia-Ukraine War, external factors that are beyond his control and as such the Government has to go to the IMF for support.

7. President Akufo-Addo should reconstitute the Economic Management Team and take control himself.

Response
That is the prerogative of President Akufo-Addo. The worse performance of the Economic Management Team of Akufo-Addo’s Government is the best performance of Mahama’s Economic Management Team.

8. Scrap Agencies such as Coastal Development Authority, Middle Belt Development Authority and Northern Development Authority, and place their roles under Local Government Ministry.

Response
A good leader should be able to balance the efficiency of productivity and job creation.

The Development Authorities were created for specific purposes and these Authorities apart from creating jobs for Ghanaians, they are also delivering projects to the various communities across the country.

Scrapping these Authorities may also lead to job loss resulting in unemployment.

9. Place moratorium on all concessionary loans.

Response
Significant amount of money borrowed by Akufo-Addo’s Government was used to pay interest on loans contracted by Mahama’s Government.

10. Do not restructure only Domestic debts, foreign debts should also be restructured too.

Response
Akufo-Addo’s Government has already taking steps to restructure both domestic debts and foreign debts so there is no cause for alarm.

11. Legislation should be passed to prevent future collateralization of statutory funds(De-securitization of statutory funds).

Response
That is good but is it helpful in the long-term?

In my candid opinion, it is sometimes better to collaterize statutory funds than freely giving out Bauxite Reserves to family members at the detriment of the entire Country.

12. Urgent need to improve compliance in tax collection.

Response

This is a laudable call but how come NDC Members of Parliament and John Mahama were seriously against a homegrown policy like E-levy?

And also how come NDC members are inciting Traders against the Ghana Revenue Authority(GRA)?

13. BOG should stop the printing of money otherwise known as monetary financing to finance government expenditure to help reduce inflation.

Response
There is no evidence that the Bank of Ghana has printed any money to finance government expenditure. Hon. Ato Forson failed to provide any evidence to that effect.

14. To stem rapid depreciation of the Cedi, the Bank of Ghana may have to consider the need to hike the monetary policy rate.

Response
To what extent should the Bank of Ghana hike the monetary policy rate?

Currently the monetary policy rate of Bank of Ghana is 24.5% yet inflation is at 37.2%.

Under John Mahama in 2016, the monetary policy rate was 26% yet the indicators of the economy were very bad.

Using monetary policy rate hike to tame inflation is just one aspect of the solutions.

As a former President, is that all John Mahama can offer to address the economic architecture of Ghana? So after all the needless noise, the aforementioned are the only measures that John Mahama Hon. Ato Forson and NDC can offer for the turnaround of Ghana’s economy?

Sincerely speaking, Mahama’s lecture was just waste of precious time.

John Mahama and NDC are not even fully aware of the urgent needs of Ghanaians. What Ghanaians are currently complaining about to Government for the necessary solutions are as follows:
1. High cost of food, fuel, goods, services and general living largely attributed to:
(a). Cedi Depreciation against the dollar and other currencies.
(b). High Inflation

2. Galamsey Menace

The aforementioned are the current pressing issues of Ghanaians. In all humility, the measures offered by John Mahama and NDC are not good enough to solve the pressing needs of Ghanaians. Strangely, John Mahama was totally quiet about the Galamsey issues.

President Akufo-Addo will by the Grace of God on Sunday, 30th October 2022 offer solutions to the prevailing concerns of Ghanaians including steps being taken in the short term, medium term and long-term to transform the socio-economic conditions of the Country.

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