Politics of Sunday, 17 November 2019
Former Deputy Finance Minister, Fifi Kwetey has said the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government lacks credibility, following the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta’s assertion that the economy under the previous government was in bad shape.
The Minister, while presenting the 2020 budget in Parliament said government had made significant economic gains in terms of employment, agriculture, businesses despite inheriting a bad economy from the previous government.
“2019 has been a very good year for Ghana. God’s blessings of our hard work are beginning to manifest…We have quietly but incontestable, achieved significant structural changes for the country. We have delivered on our flagship programs. The gains made so far are significant and indeed to the glory of God. On May 1, 2017, I had the opportunity to present the budget statement to this House. The economy was in bad shape. Growth in agriculture was slowing…unemployment was rising and businesses and households were working mainly to pay bills.”
Mr. Kwetey on Citi TV/ FM‘s news analysis programme, The Big Issue, however, dismissed claims that the economy was struggling under the previous government.
“Let me begin by saying that credibility is the foundation for building all things. It is a solid foundation and without it whatever you build can crumble. Unfortunately, we are dealing with the government that lacks the most credibility in the history of Ghana. The NPP government and especially the Nana Akufo Addo government is the government that lacks the most credibility as far as the history of this country is concerned. What it means, therefore, is that what it is that they claim they are building is obviously a building that is being established on sand.
Any group that almost into their fourth year continues to still talk about the mess they inherited is a group that first and foremost shows great irresponsibility and a group that clearly does not want to tell the truth. We are talking about our friends who inherited an economy and that economy, at the time they inherited, had gross international reserves of 6.2 billion dollars – you call that a mess.”
“In 2008 when the NPP left power, gross international reserves stood at 2 billion dollars. You inherited an economy where you inherited two massive oil fields in addition to what I call the relatively small one you got, that today, is the reason why you are having growth and you are boasting about that large part of the growth has to do with the massive investment that has been left behind for you in terms of hydrocarbons. You inherited an economy where the cocoa production was almost 1 million metric tonnes. So how do you call that a mess?”
Ghana’s economy records 6.7% growth in first quarter
Provisional figures released by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) in June 2019 revealed that Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 6.7 percent in the first quarter of 2019.
This is compared to the same period in 2018 which was at 5.4 percent.
The non-oil GDP growth for the first quarter of 2019 was at 6.0 percent year-on-year compared to 4.2 percent recorded in the first quarter of 2018.
The Minority in Parliament has also discredited the government’s claims of having turned Ghana’s economy from an ailing to a promising one.
It argued that figures such as the budget deficit provided by government officials in comparison with the NDC’s performance in 2016 are not a true reflection of the facts.
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