Former President John Mahama has launched a scathing attack on the Akufo-Addo administration, blaming the country’s present economic situation on government’s failure to exhibit contrition and sobriety amid the current crisis.
He attributed the worsening debt situation to reckless election-related expenditure, mismanagement, ineptitude, and lack of proper leadership being demonstrated by the current leadership of the economy.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of a retreat for the Minority Caucus in Parliament, Mr Mahama stated that the governing party has exhibited that it cannot resolve Ghana’s economic crisis.
“Our present economic situation stems from reckless election-related expenditure, mismanagement, ineptitude and lack of proper leadership. The highest form of irresponsibility is to shift responsibility to others, and irresponsible leaders are simply not worth the mandate of the people.
“I have recently dispelled, based on facts and figures, the false attributions made for our economic problems, but it bears repeating that none of the tall lists of excuses he made for where we are is acceptable,” he said.
His comments follow claims by Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia that government inherited an ailing economy from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in 2017.
According to Dr Bawumia, the prevailing difficulties can be attributed to the “quadruple whammy” the government faces – excess capacity payments, banking sector crisis, Covid-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war.
He said two of the four factors – the excess capacity payments and the banking sector crisis – were inherited from the previous administration.
“If you take out the fiscal impact of this quadruple whammy, Ghana will not be going to the IMF for support because our fiscal, debt and balance of payments outlook would be sustainable.
“Of the four factors, two (COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war) were external and the other two (the banking sector clean-up and the excess capacity payments) were the result of policies of the previous government,” he said at the Accra Business School on Thursday, July 14.
But in a reaction to this, the 2020 flagbearer of the NDC accused the government of making unwise decisions and engaging in “ridiculous and comical” public displays.
“All our neighbours were also affected by Covid-19 and exist in the same world in which the Russian-Ukrainian conflict is raging.
“Almost none of them have anywhere near 30% inflation, double-digit deficits, the kind of debt we have, or a debt to GDP ratio of around 90%. None of them has a higher risk of debt default than we do,” he argued.
Mr Mahama said, “the often-cited ¢25 billion used in the financial sector clean-up are self-inflicted and the result of reckless, politically motivated decision-making.”