Did former president John Mahama once say Ghanaians have short memories? Well, it doesn’t look like it this time. Ghanaians are remembering the fake promises and lies of renowned economist HE Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and HE President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the two are getting trolled for it.
1Ghana Can Develop Without Borrowing
Once upon a time, this was Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia:
“I worked at the Bank of Ghana and so I know that Ghana is rich. It is because the managers of the economy are incompetent and so all what they think of is borrowing.”
The NPP if voted for, will harness resources in Ghana to develop Ghana. I am telling you we can develop Ghana without borrowing. The money is there.”
After coming into power, the government of Nana Akufo-Addo and Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has borrowed quite a lot and Ghana’s debt stock has not seen any drastic reduction. And of course, the argument has now changed to ‘we can borrow but not excessively’ with what is considered “excessive” being left to anyone’s guess.
2Exchange Rate Will Expose Weak Fundamentals – Bawumia
On 2nd May 2012, Dr. Bawumia delivered a lecture on the state of the economy of Ghana, where he made the famous statement “if the fundamentals are weak, the exchange rate will expose you.”
Dr Bawumia during this lecture, argued that in a free market economy such as Ghana’s, where market forces determine prices, the exchange rate is a key indicator of the strength of underlying macroeconomic fundamentals.
“The lesson from history for governments is that you cannot manage the economy with propaganda. In fact, you can engage in all the propaganda you want but if the macroeconomic fundamentals are weak, the exchange rate will expose you.”
Many Ghanaians are wondering why the Cedi has depreciated recently to trade at 5 Cedis to a dollar. They’re also wondering why the economics prophet HE Dr. M. Bawumia is not around to explain.
3Exchange Rate Arrested, Keys Given to IGP
In April 2017, after 100 days in office, the Vice President spoke at a town hall meeting organized by Accra-based Joy FM, where he said that the freefall of the Cedi had been arrested and the keys had been given to the IGP for safekeeping.
“When we came in, it was running. Essentially we have arrested it and the IGP has the keys – he’s locked it up. We want to make sure we pursue sound policies to keep the cedi stable. It has appreciated for this year,” the Vice President said.
But given his incessant jabs against the National Democratic Congress, specifically on the exchange rate, Ghanaians have not been very happy with Dr. Bawumia especially since the recent fall of the Cedi to about 5 per dollar. Are the keys still with the IGP?
4Fuel Price Hikes Insensitive
Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia was on the neck of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) after a 9% increase in fuel prices on Saturday May 16, 2015 during the heat of the energy crisis “dum-sor” which was badly affecting the Ghanaian economy that year.
Truth be told, this particular fuel price hike was unpleasant because many businesses were using their own generators to help them get through the low and irregular electricity supply. Aside the dumsor, oil prices were falling on the world market. The ruling NDC however kept the price up in Ghana through taxes because government needed money to deal with some debts and counter the impact of the falling oil prices on Ghana’s budget.
But of course Dr Bawumia was there to fan the flames and score some points. He seized the moment to describe the NDC government of John Mahama as the most uncaring, incompetent and corrupt government ever. He also stated:
“I feel really sad this morning for the ordinary Ghanaian; the hardworking people who have to endure the insensitive decision to increase fuel prices at this time.”
“At a time when people are struggling to power their generators with petrol or diesel to run what remains of their businesses because of the current energy crisis, the government has thrown all reasonable feelings to the dogs and gone ahead to increase fuel prices.”
Fuel price increments have not really stopped under the NPP’s leadership, have they? Recently, somewhere on August 18, they sneaked in a fuel price increment when the whole nation was preoccupied with news of the passing of Kofi Annan. It worked. The price increment was not highlighted much in the media and Ghanaians didn’t complain much about it.
5NPP will change Ghana in 18 months
In November 2016, during the 2016 election campaign, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo promised at a rally in Tamale that he and the NPP would transform Ghana in 18 months if given the chance. He said:
“I am promising you that within 18 months of a new government of the NPP, under my leadership, the face of our country Ghana, is going to change. We are going to get out of stagnation and backwardness, and move our country onto the path of progress and prosperity. We can do it. We, the Ghanaian people have the capacity to change the circumstances of our lives.”
How well has your life changed? How well has Ghana changed?
The views expressed herein do not constitute an endorsement of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) or any other political party or aspiring presidential candidate, and should not be miscontrued as such.