The plans and policies outlined by the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) in its 2016 manifesto will destroy Ghana if the party is voted into power in the 7 December 2016 elections, President John Mahama has said.
For this reason, he has told party supporters at a rally in Afienya in the Ningo Prampram constituency in the Greater Accra Region on Wednesday, 12 October that Ghanaians must shun the NPP.
"When the NPP read their manifesto, it was obvious that their economic plan would destroy this economy. … If you take the NPP's economic plan, they are reducing taxes on everything; removing taxes on raw materials, reducing VAT on several items, reducing corporate income tax so when you do that you are reducing your revenue.
"If you look at that economic plan they showed Ghanaians, it is unworkable, it will ruin this economy, it will take inflation back up, it will raise interest rates and it will put us back where it just came from and so it’s the craziest economic plan I have ever heard," Mr Mahama said.
Touching on the recent controversy about the review of the country's economic outlook by Moody's, Mr Mahama said Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, vice-presidential nominee of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), lied when he said the review was not an upgrade.
Dr Bawumia said contrary to claims of an upgrade, the international rating agency has not upgraded Ghana's sovereign credit rating.
Speaking at the launch of the NPP's 2016 manifesto at the International Trade Fair Centre in Accra on Sunday, 9 October, Dr Bawumia said Ghana's sovereign credit rating got downgraded to (B-) under President Mahama despite having oil revenue at his disposal, from (B) positive (without oil under the NPP).
Moody's Investors Service recently affirmed the country's issuer and senior unsecured rating at B3 and changed the outlook to stable from negative.
Dr Bawumia, however, noted that nothing had changed except the revised outlook. He said, in fact, international rating agencies like Moody's, Fitch and Standard & Poor’s now have basically the same credit rating for Ghana.
"The recent revision of Ghana's outlook from B- negative to B- stable; that is the equivalent of B3" with the revision of the outlook from negative to stable, "has resulted in a misinterpretation by this NDC government and President Mahama that Ghana's credit rating has been upgraded."
"This is in fact not the case. Moody's did not upgrade Ghana. Ghana's rating under Moody's is still B-. It is only the outlook that has been revised and that is not equivalent to a change in rating or a rating upgrade.
"Sometimes one wonders whether they don't read or they don't understand. So, let me give Mr President a free piece of advice: 'Mr President, please desist from embarrassing yourself by stating that Moody’s has upgraded Ghana.' Your economic management team should explain that difference to you.
"The Mo Ibrahim 2016 report on governance shows that on virtually all key development indicators such as safety, rule of law, human rights, economic opportunities, infrastructure, business environment, human development, health and public management, Ghana is worse off today than it was 10 years ago," Dr Bawumia said.
His comments were in response to Mr Mahama's assertion that the recent review of Ghana's economic outlook was proof that "we're doing something right".
Upon his return to Accra Wednesday night after his trip to France, Mr Mahama told journalists at the Kotoka International Airport that: "In my absence we were pleased to hear that Moody's credit rating agency has upgraded Ghana. It shows that we are doing something right and we are pleased about the way things are happening. Let us continue to work together as one nation, let's believe in ourselves, and I believe that more than the sky is the limit."
"Our country is respected in the international community, and everybody recognises that. Ghana is rising, Ghana is doing well."
Responding to Dr Bawumia's recent claims, President Mahama told party supporters that: "This economy is stabilising. The international community and everybody else recognises that Ghana has bright economic prospects. The cedi is one of the best performing currencies in Africa this year in terms of stability and Moody's has come out to upgrade Ghana's economy and moved us from (B-) negative to (B-) stable and yet somebody who calls himself an economist can lie that Moody’s has not upgraded Ghana."