The Minority in Parliament has downplayed government’s supposed brilliant management of the economy it inherited from the John Mahama administration.
This follows the president’s State of the Nation Address on [Thursday] February 8, 2018, where he stated that the country’s economy had been projected by the World Bank and other international bodies to be the fastest growing in the world in 2018.
According to them, the upward trajectory of the economy is due to the solid foundation laid by the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) government.
Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, who addressed the press today [Friday], February 9, 2018, said contrary to the President’s projection, Ghana may not exit the International Monetary Fund (IMF) program by the end of this year as suggested by the president.
The IMF program which started in 2015, was to end in 2017, but the IMF upon concluding its fourth review of Ghana’s programme in August 2017, extended the programme by one year and approved a $94.2 million disbursement.
Haruna Iddrisu says Ghana can only exit the IMF program “if [Ghana] meets the benchmark of fiscal consolidation” adding that by the President’s assessment, Ghana is nowhere near exiting from the program.
“One of it is fundamental debt management and superior debt management strategy and its sustainability and to avoid moving the country into a debt distress country especially when they are issuing bonds. So as a Minority we are mindful and concerned about his early announcement and how that can affect the international financial market and even the Ghanaian economy as they continue to issue bonds. We have not met all the requirements and we are not likely to meet all the requirements,” headed.
According to Haruna Iddrisu, the Akufo-Addo government is only hiding behind refusal to clear arrears owed contractors, to suggest that fiscal discipline has been achieved.
“…The fact that you are accumulating arrears and not paying contractors does not mean you are disciplined fiscally and prudent, no. Yesterday [Thursday], he [President], was talking about the eastern corridor road, Bolgatanga-Bawku road, the contractor is virtually packing out of site for non-payment. Since he got some releases from the NDC to commence work, he has not had any substantial inflow from the government of Nana Addo Dankwa, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and the Finance Minister in order to be able to continue work.”
“They [NPP Government] are compelling many contractors to do what you can call a raiser cut…that does not respect the sanctity of contracts. Internationally, we are making the country a laughing stock because out of fear of political intimidation, many of them are giving in to what they should not including local contractors. We expect the government to stop those by force raiser cuts they are giving international contractual arrangements and others,” the Minority Leader noted.
On the claim that about 745,000 employment avenues were created under the Planting for Food and Jobs program, Haruna Iddrisu called for an independent assessment and full publication of the names of those employed under the program.
“All agricultural experts in this world and the country must interrogate the figures of 745,000 persons employed under planting for food because even the committee chairman’s own constituency the numbers are not what they are reporting…someone independent, if you have the list, please publish it for us because its important. So if you distrust government and the minority, let’s have an independent assessment,” he added.
By: Godwin A. Allotey & Duke M. Opoku/citifmonline.com/Ghana