General News of 2014-02-07

Bawumia lacks competence to advise gov't on economy – Kwakye Ofosu

Deputy Information Minister, Felix Kwakye Ofosu says the 2012 vice presidential candidate of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia lacks the competence to advise government on economic issues.

He said calls on government to allow Dr. Bawumia to advise it on the way out of the current economic situation are misplaced.

Political pundits including the New Crusading Guide newspaper editor, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, have argued that the current economic crisis vindicates the former deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana who expressed worry about the fiscal indiscipline of the Mahama-led administration.

Kweku Baako was convinced if government has swallowed its pride and heeded to his [Bawumia’s] advise, the cedi would not have been in its current state.

But Felix Kwakye Ofosu on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme Friday said Dr. Bawumia is not the economic wizkid the NPP wants Ghanaians to believe.

He intimated that his [Bawumia’s] economic credential is just a creation by the NPP “to boost his image in the eyes of voters”.

According to him, the people who were in charge of Ghana’s economy in the erstwhile Kufuor administration were Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei, Yaw Osafo Maafo, the late Kwadwo Baah Wiredu and former Governor, Dr. Paul Acquah.

“Dr. Bawumia as far as we knew until 2008 was not a politician but a technocrat at the Bank of Ghana, so, the attempt to create the impression that he was in charge of the NPP’s economic policy cannot be true”

Mr. Kwakye Ofosu said if the credentials bestowed on Dr. Bawumia is anything to go by, “how did the cedi lose 30 percent of its value with him as deputy Governor?”

He maintained that Dr. Bawumia’s track record does not support the argument being made.

The deputy Information Minister underscored the need for people to acknowledge efforts of the Finance Ministry as well as the Bank of Ghana, and stop the politicization of national issues.

Mr. Kwakye Ofosu said many emerging economies like Argentina are experiencing worse than ours but “the Bank of Ghana has reacted in kind to save the cedi from further depreciation”.

Conceding the economic crisis, he said government is not to be blamed because there is clear evidence government is working assiduously to bring a lasting solution to the current economic crisis.

“There are perfectly logical and plausible explanations for the challenge we are having, but we must find a permanent solution to the cyclical depreciation of the cedi than blaming it on mismanagement”.