The war of words over the economy between President John Mahama and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Running Mate, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has continued with the President this time questioning Dr. Bawumia’s economic credentials.
Referencing the NPP Running Mate’s claims that international credit rating agency, Moody’s, did not upgrade the rating of Ghana’s economy, President Mahama said he doubted Dr. Bawumia’s standing as an astute economist.
Addressing party faithful at a rally in Afienya in the Ningo Prampram constituency the President called on Ghanaians not to fall for such claims as he retorted that “this economy is stabilizing. The international community and everybody else recognises that Ghana else has bright economic prospects.”
“The Cedi is one of the best performing currency’s in Africa this year in terms of stability and Moody’s have come out to upgrade Ghana’s economy and moved us from B-negative to B-stable and yet somebody who calls himself and economist can lie that Moody’s has not upgraded Ghana.”
‘The craziest economic plan I have ever heard’
President Mahama’s address in Ningo Prampram transitioned into an attack on the NPP’s proposed economic policies which he described as unrealistic.
“When the NPP read their manifesto, it is obvious that their economic plan would destroy this economy,” the NDC flagbearer said off the NPP’s plan for industrialization and job creation which he argued was undermined by its desire to scrap a number of taxes.
Likening the management of an economy to a family budget, he explained that if you spend more than you earn, you would be heading for debt as he noted that the money to finance development had to come from somewhere.
The NPP in its manifesto has said it plans to reduce corporate, remove import duties on raw materials and machinery, the scrapping of the special import levy among others as part of its shift from taxation to production.
But President Mahama said, “if you take the NPP’s economic plan, they are reducing taxes on everything; removing taxes on raw materials, reducing VAT on several items, reducing corporate income tax so when you do that you are reducing your revenue.”
“If you look at that economic plan they showed Ghanaians, it is unworkable, it will ruin this economy, it will take inflation back up, it will raise interest rates and it will put us back where it just came from and so it’s the craziest economic plan I have ever heard.”
In another development, an Economist, Dr. John Gatsi, says he sees nothing wrong with the challenge thrown at the Vice Presidential Candidate of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia, by President Mahama on a campaign platform, to disclose the cost of the cedi redenomination exercise undertaken in 2007.
President Mahama during a rally in the Ablekuma North Constituency on Tuesday, asked Dr. Bawumia to reveal the cost of the exercise, saying since the latter was the Deputy Bank of Ghana at the time, he should be able to let Ghanaians know the actual cost of the exercise.
His comments did not sit down well with Dr. Bawumia, who in a sharp rebuttal on Facebook, said the President’s request was fueled by propaganda and a “demonstration of incompetence.”
But speaking on Eyewitness News, the Economist backed President Mahama’s call, saying a response by Dr. Bawumia who has been out of government several years ago, will promote transparency and bring closure to the matter.
“This is not the first time Dr. Bawumia has been questioned about the cost of the redonimation. For transparency and credibility or trying to provide your willingness of trying to be accountable to the people of Ghana, I think Dr. Bawumia should just go ahead and say that yes; I spearheaded the process and this was the amount that was involved….What is wrong at this point in time for Dr. Bawumia to say this is the amount that I spent on it, that is very important.”
He further intimated that, Bawumia’s position as the Vice Presidential Candidate of the NPP requires him to come clear on the issue.
“… I think the point that should interest all of us is that the redenomination was a very important project especially within the Central Bank that affected us as a country. We also have said several times that Dr. Bawumia was said to have spearheaded that process and is one of the achievements that have been mentioned about his work within the Central Bank; and now that he has taken public office as a Vice Presidential candidate, I think that the best that can be done is that he comes clear on it.”