The Ranking Member on Parliament’s Finance Committee, Cassiel Ato Forson has described as inhumane Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia’s comparison of Ghana’s power crisis to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr. Forson said it is wrong to compare the two incidents especially when one is leading to the loss of lives while the other resulted in the loss of products.
The Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam legislator in a statement to challenge Dr. Bawumia’s assertion that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government has outperformed the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the management of a crisis situation said Dr. Bawumia is relying on “cosmetic” macro-economic data to make his point.
Dr. Bawumia at a media engagement on Monday said the government has ensured a resilient and buoyant economy despite the harsh conditions presented by the coronavirus pandemic.
He also said the NDC government during the power crisis could not effectively manage the economy.
Dr. Bawumia also jabbed the NDC’s flagbearer, John Mahama over claims that the COVID-19 outbreak had left the economy struggling, indicating that Mr. Mahama was embarrassing himself by not using the right data.
But Cassiel Ato Forson said the true state of the Ghanaian economy as being supervised by the Akufo-Addo government risks high debt distress.
“Comparing a pandemic to an energy crisis that occurred because the NPP government failed to invest in power generation over an eight-year period only reflects the confusion that has characterized the Vice President’s recent pronouncements.”
“In any case, it is inhumane to compare a pandemic killing human beings to an electricity generation problem that was resolved by the same government. It is time to caution Dr. Bawumia not to be proud of cosmetic macro-economic data that fails to translate into economic well-being,” Ato Forson added.
Read the full statement below:
Mr. Vice President:
We suffered dumsor in Ghana between 2005 to 2008 when you were a Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana and a member of the Economic management team. Can you remind Ghanaians about any stimulus package you provided to mitigate the plight of Ghanaians?
Comparing a pandemic to an energy crisis that occurred because the NPP Government failed to invest in power generation over an 8 year period only reflects the confusion that has characterized the Vice President’s recent pronouncements.
In any case, it is inhumane to compare a pandemic killing human beings to an electricity generation problem that was resolved by the same government.
It is time to caution Dr. Bawumia not to be proud of cosmetic macro-economic data that fails to translate into economic well-being.
Today, Ghana’s public debt has increased from GHS120.3 billion as at 31st December 2016 to GHS235 billion as at 31st March 2020.
Your government is struggling to service interest on public debt; as a result, lenders have started charging penalties on delayed interest payments.
Sadly, our debt levels are so high that we risk becoming a high debt distress country yet you have failed to show humility and competence in fixing your mess.
Now, on the rant about data, Available data points to your monumental failure to keep your word to the Ghanaian people.
Here are a few reasons why:
1) When is Dr. Bawumia going to make available the $18 billion Chinese loan he promised us?
2) When is he going to draw down on the $2 billion sinohydro loan?
3) What happened to “No village in Ghana will have a challenge with toilet and water provision within 2 years of an NPP Government?”
4) How about your promise that “Every Ghanaian will have a bank account by end of 2018.
5). Cedi arrested and the keys given to the IGP? yet you have failed to check the free fall of the cedi.
6) The promise of providing the necessary incentives for private sector participation in health service delivery remains a mirage. What happened to it?
8) Implementing policies that will reduce the cost of doing business has been a hoax.
9) The pledge to provide a reliable and cost-effective mix of energy supply for businesses has probably been long forgotten.
10) Pursuing aggressive industrialization and value addition to agricultural produce has not seen the light of day.
11) The much-touted allocation of US$1 million annually per constituency has become a bitter fallacy.
12) The promise to develop interconnected roads, railways, ports and harbour (RRHPs) system remains a pipe dream.
13) The Water For All Programme has become another deception.
14) Dr. Bawumia’s promise to construct 570 dams in 2017 adds to his tall list of empty rhetoric.
15) Reducing the corporate tax rate from 25% to 20% has still not materialized.
16) The pledge to provide incentives for the hospitality and creative arts industry that will enable them create jobs has been another fiasco.
17) The promise to build hospitals in districts that lack them was totally forgotten until COVID-19 exposed the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia administration.
The litany of broken promises and outright deception is endless. I can go on and on.
Sir, pay attention to the data contained in the NPP 2016 manifesto and numerous promises you made in the recent past and deliver on them for that is the social contract the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government has with the people.
Cassiel Ato Forson (MP)