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Economic Take-Off Claims Deception

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has described claims by President John Mahama of laying the foundation for economic take-off and high growth from 2017 as a grand deception.

President Mahama, the NPP said, took over in 2012 and in that year, the growth rate declined to five per cent;  in 2015 the growth rate further declined to four per cent.

“It is sad that President Mahama shrinks the Ghanaian economy from 14 per cent growth to four per cent and still claims he is changing lives and transforming Ghana.”

A statement signed and issued in Accra  last Sunday by the Director of Communications of the NPP, Nana Akomea, asked “so what level of growth is President Mahama laying the foundation for?  Is it to take us to the growth we had already achieved in 2008 or the growth we achieved in 2011?”

Economic deceleration

The party questioned how possible it was for a driver to take over a bus travelling at 80 kilometres an hour, reduce the speed to 30 kilometres and boast to passengers that the reduced speed would rather prepare for a higher speed.

Nana Akomea claimed the party had noted that it was not only the growth of the economy that had retrogressed under President Mahama.

Inflation, he said, was at single digit level when President Mahama took over but now it was over 16 per cent.

On the depreciation of the cedi, Nana Akomea said it had depreciated by four per cent in 2011, when GH¢1.80p bought one dollar.

But President Mahama’s policies, he claimed, had seen the cedi becoming the worst depreciated currency in the world, depreciating by 30 per cent in 2014 such that today, Ghanaians needed GH¢4 to buy one dollar.

The fiscal deficit, the NPP averred, was four per cent of GDP at the end of 2011.

“President Mahama in his first year (2012) took the deficit to a record 12 per cent. Today, even under IMF supervision and ‘policy credibility’, the deficit is in excess of seven per cent,” the party said.

Today, it said, growth rates in agriculture and industry were much worse than when President Mahama took over in 2012.

Worsened economy

“How do you take over an economy, make it worse, and claim you have made it worse in order to make it better,” the party queried.

For the NPP, President Mahama’s claim that his government’s roads construction would make food cheaper and increase cocoa output was a farce.

“We see food prices increasingly not affordable. As for cocoa, President Mahama inherited production at one million tonnes in the 2010/2011 season. Today, cocoa production is at 800,000 tonnes under his watch,” the party said.

We could afford eurobond rates when President Mahama took over in 2012. Today, under his presidency, we simply cannot afford the rates offered.

Successive deception

The party said even on the 2017 economic take-off claim,  President Mahama had been making the same claim year in, year out since 2012, but the economic plight of Ghanaians kept worsening. “In his 2013 New Year message he told Ghanaians of ‘better times ahead’. In 2014 he told us the ‘economy will turn around in 2014’. In 2015, he told us of ‘better days ahead’.  Now in 2016, he has told us of a ‘stable economy’. Mid-2016, he is telling Ghanaians of a ‘take-off in 2017’,” the party added, saying the propaganda must stop.

The NPP also claimed that President Mahama’s government had reached an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on a programme of labour redundancies from 2017 and that “the message this sends to Ghanaian workers is, vote for President Mahama this year and get sacked next year.”

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