The New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) running mate for the 2016 general election, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has delivered a damning assessment on the economic management of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) over the past eight years.
According to Dr Bawumia, the President John Dramani Mahama has destroyed the strong economic foundation built by former President John Agyekum Kufuor betweeen 2000-2008, during his (Mahama’s) underwhelming tenure.
Delivering a public lecture on Thursday at the National Theatre on the theme: “The State of the Ghanaian Economy; A Foundation of Concrete or Straw”, Dr. Bawumia urged Ghanaians to vote out the NDC as a result of their poor economic management policies.
“The truth is that the foundation was already laid by the Kufuor government. You need to manage an economy with competence and keep corruption under check if you are going to make progress,” he said.
“The fact is that you cannot achieve brighter days with mismanagement, incompetence and corruption.”
The former deputy governor of the Bank of Ghana, also accused the NDC government of accumulating 66% of Ghana’s total debt since independence as a result of “reckless” and unbridled “borrowing”.
“The real effects of the reckless borrowing undertaken in the last seven years is seen in the magnitude of interest payments Ghana has been burdened with, which has meant that, vital resources which should have gone into vital sectors, infrastructural development and social services, are now being pumped into settling our debt obligations.
He added, “To put the interest payments on the debt in context, we should note that the entire allocations in the 2016 budget to the Ministries of Roads and Highways, Trade and Industry, Food and Agriculture, Water Resources, Works and Housing, Youth and Sports, and Ministry of Transport amounted to a total of GH¢2.1 billion.
“Interest payments in 2016 (GH¢10.5 billion) would be five times what was allocated to these six key ministries combined,” he noted.
“As interest payments go up, the space for development shrinks, and this is all due to financial indiscipline. At the end of 2008, Ghana’s total interest payments amounted to GH¢680 million.”
“Infrastructure expenditure as a percentage of GDP declined sharply after 2008, as interest payments increased. From 2014 to date, interest payments have now incredibly exceeded infrastructure expenditure. “How can an economy be on an upward growth path when interest payments exceed infrastructure expenditure? This is the result of NDC’s economic mismanagement,” he added.
Former President Kufour, the chairman of the event earlier added his voice to the call for change, indicating that Ghanaians were suffocating under the poor economic management of president John Mahama.