Rhetoric will not solve Ghana’s economic challenges- Amissah-Arthur

Wed, 7 Nov 2012 Source: GNA

Vice President Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur on Tuesday urged Ghanaians not to accept any rhetoric solutions to the challenges of the Ghanaian economy.

He underlined discipline, hardwork and sacrifice, and an equitable distribution of national resources for a better life for all.

He asked Ghanaians to retain the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) in next month’s general election to build on the gains achieved in the last four years.

Vice President Amissah-Arthur, who is the running mate of President John Dramani Mahama, Flag bearer of the NDC in Election 2012, made the call in a debate for running mates of political parties with representation in parliament in Takoradi.

It was organised by Ghana Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), a think-tank.

A similar debate was held in Tamale by IEA for the flag bearers, aimed at deepening multi-party democracy and promotion of issue-based elections in Ghana.

The running mates answered questions on the economy, social sector and national life, regional integration, housing and tourism.

Vice President Amissah-Arthur said the NDC had built a solid foundation for the take-off of the economy, and praised President Mahama as a leader with the virtues of honesty, hardwork and humility.

On the economy, the Vice President said the economy registered a low inflation for 28 months, and explained that the rather high interest rates were as a result of confusion created by skeptics that a single digit inflation could not be maintained, hence kept their rates high with business partners.

Vice President Amissah-Arthur explained that other reasons that accounted for the high rates of interests came from the purchases of foreign currencies and the injection of money through better prices offered to cocoa farmers, payment of the Single Spine and the use of reserves, and the payment of debt owed by previous governments which were appreciating.

He said the next NDC Government has an elaborate programme for sanitation across the country and would put in place measures to reduce hotel bills as a measure to make tourism more attractive.

He promised that the NDC would revive the national airline to carry more people as a further step to promote tourism.

The Vice President assured Ghanaians importers of reduction of doing business at the ports through an expansion programme as well as improved ICT.

The Government, he said would also expand the care of the people with disabilities and encourage more women to take up responsible positions in politics.

The Vice President who was the immediate past Governor of the Bank of Ghana before his selection as Vice President in August, was on the podium together with Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, a former Deputy Governor at the same institution before his selection to partner Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, the NPP flag bearer in 2008, and retained the position again for the December 2012 polls; Madam Cherita Sarpong Kumankuma, for the Convention People’s Party (CPP and Madam Helen Sanorita Dzatugbe Matrevi, for the People’s National Convention.

Dr Bawumia accused the NDC Government of borrowing more in four years than all governments put together.

“This puts a lot of pressure on our ability to service these debts. Because even though the numbers, statistically, may look ok as far as your thresholds are concerned, they only look okay because of the rebasing of the economy,” Dr Bawumia noted.

He scathed the NDC’s handling of the economy saying: “Bank of Ghana’s monetary policy framework right now is in limbo. The Bank of Ghana’s monetary policy rate is out of sync with all the money market rates. The government is borrowing at 23 per cent… How then do you control interest rates?”

Nana Kumankuma, advocated a return of the CPP to power based on the social policies the party had pursued during the era of Ghana’s first President; Dr Kwame Nkrumah.

She said there is the need for reduction in hotel bills to make tourism more attractive.

For her part Madam Matervi pledged that a PNC government would introduce the cleanest community awards as a measure to improve the sanitation conditions in Ghana.

She said monetary and other rewards would be instituted for the cleanest community.

According to her, for Ghana to experience improvement in sanitation, the PNC would embark on an effective sanitation education at the basic school level to curb the habits of poor sanitation practices.

“A PNC government will apply the three Rs of sanitation - Recycle, Reuse and Refill - to help keep the environment clean and also create employment opportunities,” she explained.

Regarding the housing deficit which the country is currently facing, Ms Matervi said available lands would be economized by “creating high buildings which will be affordable to the middle income earner”.

“We will use local masons and other artisans to construct these affordable buildings to create employment opportunities for the youth and local building materials will also be used,” she added.

Source: GNA

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