General News of 2014-06-08

Rawlings was right on cedi redenomination but... -Pratt

Kwesi Pratt Junior, Managing Editor of the Insight Newspaper says he agrees with ex-president Rawlings’ observation about the redenomination of the cedi but disagrees it is the cause of the country’s current economic situation.
Marking 35 years of the June 4 uprising in Accra, Wednesday, ex- president Rawlings accused his successor John Agyekum Kufuor of being responsible for the current economic crisis the country is going through.
He also blamed the current economic crisis on the decision by the Kufuor government to redenominate the country's currency in 2007.
Mr. Rawlings challenged the NPP to declare what it did with the old currency after it was phased out. “I have said over and over again that Kufuor is responsible for setting in motion the moral and economic crisis that we are experiencing today, and I will say it again today. The investigation that Mills should have initiated never took place. But today let me give one very visible and concrete example of Kufuor’s mismanagement that we are all feeling the effects of.”
“…When Kufuor’s government removed four noughts from the cedi, he overnight abolished the people’s economy. He abolished the people’s economy because he abolished the means to exchange goods below the value of 1,000 old cedis,” he condemned.
Responding to Mr. Rawlings’ position on the redenomination of the cedi on Radio Gold’s current affairs programme, Alhaji and Alhaji with Alhassan Suhuyini, Saturday, the Insight Managing Editor said indeed the redenomination of the cedi negatively affected prices.
He was, however, quick to add that the redenomination of the cedi cannot solely be blamed for the current economic crisis; thus it will be unfair to blame the erstwhile Kufuor administration for the dwindling economy. Mr. Pratt revealed that the economic woes of Ghana can be attributed to the ownership and distribution of the country’s resources.
According to him, Ghana has little share in the extraction of natural resources such as gold, diamond, crude, cocoa amongst others. “The Ghanaian economy produces for the benefit of the big capitalists in the colonial economy metropolis and that is a fact. It has a huge impact on us…it is important that we avoid this unnecessary politicization of the economy. There is no truth whatsoever that the decline stated in the Kufuor era,” he condemned. Mr. Pratt nonetheless admitted that “in the Kufuor era there was a substantial decline (of the economy). Some of the economic decisions which were taken were wrong, it didn’t benefit us.”
“I am still opposed to the privatization of Ghana Telecom. I think that the Hipic initiative did not solve the fundamental problems of the economy which created debts…the psychological damage that was done to the people of Ghana and the future generation by labeling public schools ‘Hipic Benefits’ is there for all to see. But we ought to be careful about this unnecessary politicization,” he bemoaned.
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