The running mate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has criticised government economic record in a broadcast lecture Thursday evening.
The lecture, held on the theme: ‘State of Ghana’s Economy – Foundation of Concrete or Straw?,’ was held at the National Theatre with former president Kufour as the chairman of the occasion.
The former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana wasted no time in jibing president John Mahama’s handling of the economy, declaring his administration as the most incompetent in the fourth republic.
Backing his claims with data, Dr Bawumia noted the minimum wage dropped from $2.12 to $2.08 representing 4.6% decline in the minimum wage.
“The minimum wage in dollar terms has declined by 23%. In comparison, President Kufuor, under the NPP increased the minimum wage from 62 cents to $2.12 representing 244% increase,” he said.
Dr Bawumia said people at the bottom of the income scale were better off under the Kufour administration, thus between 2001 to 2009, than they are today under the NDC administration.
“People at the bottom of the income scale became better of, and between the period of 2009 to 2016, as national income has increased, individuals at the bottom of the income scale became worse of.”
Income inequality, which is the measure of change in minimum wage relative to the change in income, improved by 1.8% between 2001 and 2008, he said.
He continued: “However, there was a major decline under the Mahama administration since 2008 and the worst decline in the tenure of John Mahama.”
Touching on the economic woes of the country, Dr Bawumia accused the NDC-led administration of poorly managing the resources of the country.
He said in spite of the money the government has mobilised from taxes and oil revenues, resources are poorly managed.
Comparing resources mobilisation under the eight years of both the NPP and the NDC, Dr Bawumia noted that the latter had more resources at its disposal.
“Under the eight years of the NPP government, from 2001-2009, taxes and loans amounted to GHS20 billion and without oil, economic growth increased from 3.7 per cent to 9.1 per cent. But in contrast, GDP per capita has declined by 12 per cent under John Mahama’s tenure as president when oil revenue and loans alone over the eight-year period of 2009-2016 would amount to GHS248billion,” he added.
He said the mismanagement of the resources led the government to seek a three-year bailout programme from the International Monetary Fund.
In the wide-ranging lecture Thursday, he declared the government the worse borrower in the country’s history. He said it had borrowed to the tune of $42 billion.
The president, he noted, over the last four years accounted for 66% of the debt stock.
He said: “Indeed from independence in 1957 to 2008, Ghana’s total debt was 9.5% Billion Cedis; however; in the last seven years alone under this NDC government, Ghana’s total debt has ballooned from 99.5 billion cedis to 100 billion cedis in 2015; and a 105 billion cedis by May 2016. In fact, 66% of Ghana’s debt from independence; has been accumulated under the presidency of John Mahama in just the last three and half years.”
Touching on graduate unemployment, the NPP running mate said it has reached crisis level under president Mahama.
He described the situation as a national security threat which must be tackled immediately.
“Graduate unemployment has reached crisis proportions with a reported 60% of graduates unable to find a job,” he said. “An Unemployed Graduates Association has been formed for the first time under this government.”…, “The increasing unemployment in the country is a ticking time bomb.”