Former President, John Dramani Mahama, has described the Akufo-Addo administration and its economic management team, as clueless on how best to manage the economy, and have no idea where they are heading.
According to the 2020 flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), though the country seems to be having an economic meltdown, President Akufo-Addo and his team, have shown little appreciation of the situation.
What is worse is that, despite the NPP administration’s incompetence, it is totally impervious to sound proposals to rescue the economy and mitigate the extreme economic hardships that Ghanaians are dealing with.
“It is apparent that even as the ship of state is being buffeted by the choppy waters of economic disaster, President Akufo-Addo and his head of the economic management team and his Finance Minister have no clue as to what direction to lead this country”.
Mr Mahama, said while speaking on the state of the economy at the inaugural launch of a policy think tank, Think Progress Ghana held at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), yesterday.
“The Akufo-Addo administration has refused to do what is necessary to arrest the economic decline. The suffering and pain experienced by Ghanaians do not seem to move the Akufo-Addo government to action. They have convinced themselves somehow that by refusing to do the heavy lifting required, they can wait out the economic storm and that stability and normalcy will return as a matter of due course,” he added.
The ex-President indicated that henceforth, NDC legislators will not support the approval of any new loans that do not have specific terms or purposes.
Mr Mahama, accused the Akufo-Addo government of excessive borrowing that has plunged the country’s economy into difficulties adding, any further borrowing would further destroy the economy, hence the decision of NDC MPs to stay away from endorsing loans with unclear terms.
“We wish to serve notice that the NDC in Parliament will not support any further non-concessionary borrowing or loans that are not project specific with clear and ubiquitous terms of the benefits to our nation. We will not partake in the destruction of the Ghanaian economy, which this government appears so bent on doing,” he said.
He said the government must immediately restructure the country’s debts to give it some fiscal space to undertake relevant projects that will bring development and improve people’s lives.
“The real problem with our economy is not that we do not have enough money to spend on priority needs requiring more borrowing, but it is that we have borrowed too much and a chunk of our revenues is going into servicing debts, leaving very little for anything else. The solution to the problem lies in taking the bold steps to restructure our debts and get some relief from pumping far too much revenue into debt servicing on an annual basis and channeling the money into the serving priority areas that will benefit our people directly,” he added.
Former President John Mahama, says the Akufo-Addo led-administration, can only salvage the nation from the current economic hardship with help from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Mr Mahama, indicated that the IMF and its technocrats, will come with solid policies such as fiscal discipline among others to improve the nation’s macro-economic front.
“In the last few days, there has been talk from some regime actors about a potential or impending IMF programme. Due to the nature and depth of our economic problems, this government virtually has no other sustainable option.
“IMF programmes come with fiscal consolidation and insistence on fiscal discipline which can lead to some recovery and improvements on the macro-economic front,” the NDC 2020 Presidential Candidate disclosed.
He continued: “This government has however so mismanaged our economy and left it in such a terrible state that fiscal consolidation alone will not do the trick.”
“Any IMF programme should be preceded or done jointly with discussions with our creditors to achieve debt restructuring.”
Speaking on the COVID-19 funds, Mr Mahama, indicated that the Akufo-Addo government simply misused the cash meant for the fight against Covid-19.
He accused the government of imprudent use of the financial resources especially during the election period in 2020, a situation he said has led to the challenges facing the country at the moment.
“The economic problem we are facing stem from imprudent election-related expenditure and reckless decision-making in the management of the economy.
“This also includes the way the windfall from Covid was used. Covid was an adversity but in adversity was opportunity. As a result of Covid multilateral institutions gave us money, we took extra money from the Bank of Ghana and just misused it. That money would have cushioned this crisis that we are going through.”