Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has wondered why former President John Mahama is taking credit for Ghana’s fastest-growing economy in the world status when, according to the Akufo-Addo government, the flag bearer of the biggest opposition party, National Democratic Congress (NDC), has nothing to do with the policies and programs that led to the growth.
Adducing evidence to back his assertion, Mr Oppong Nkrumah told journalists at a press briefing on Wednesday, 30 October 2019 that: “If you look at the breakdown of what the Ghana Statistical Service has provided, agriculture, for example, in 2016, was at 2.9% but after the many interventions in the sector and the introduction of three clear programmes under the NPP administration, namely; Planting for Food and Jobs, Planting for Export and Rural Development; and Rearing for Food and Jobs, agriculture in 2018 grew to 4.8%”.
The government spokesperson continued: “Industry, under the Mahama administration, was 4.3%, and again we were quite clear with our interventions for the energy sector: we said energy was a financial matter not a technical matter. Energy was not available for manufacturing to function. We said we were going to put in place proper financial arrangements to ensure that those we have to service to keep lights on, get the necessary attention and today manufacturing plants are firing up”.
According to the Ofoase Ayirebi MP, “In 2018, Industry was at 10.6% due to these clear policies”.
“So, how do we give Mr Mahama credit for these growths,” he wondered, adding: “In 2011, when the Mills Mahama administration chalked economic growth of 14 per cent, the NDC never said credit should be given to President Kufuor. Then, he will, by extension, be saying we should blame him for the reduction in services in 2018 which he refuses to say in this instance”.
Mr Mahama recently claimed credit for the achievement, saying the Akufo-Addo government did nothing toward it but only reaping from the previous administration's "hard work".
A World Bank Report recently named Ghana among the four fastest-growing economies in Africa. The other African countries include Ethiopia, Rwanda and Cote d’Ivoire.
Ghana and the three others are currently growing at seven per cent.
"Africa still hosts four of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Countries such as Ethiopia, Rwanda, Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire are still growing above seven per cent. These countries are not only the growth champions on the continent but also among the fastest-growing economies in the world", the Chief Economist for Africa at the World Bank, Dr Albert Zeufack, made this known from the World Bank Report in a live video conference streamed from Washington, DC, USA, in early October this year.
He was speaking at the launch of the 20th edition of the Africa Pulse Report, the World Bank's twice-yearly economic update for sub-Saharan African.
"So, overall, we do have 10 economies in Africa that are still growing above six per cent, but it is also important to highlight the three largest economies in Africa — Nigeria, South Africa and Angola — which are still having extreme difficulty recovering from the recession they experienced over the past two years. Excluding these three economies, the rest of Africa is growing around four per cent", he said.
Speaking on the matter at a meeting with party leaders and supporters in the UK, Mr Mahama said the growth achievement which is being "trumpeted" by the Akufo-Addo government, came about as a result of his administration's sterling performance in office before the current government took over.
"Whatever is responsible for the growth, the growth is only in the oil sector", Mr Mahama said, adding: "All that growth, fastest-growing economy in the world, it's the oil sector".
"And where are those revenues coming from?" he asked.
"They are from the TEN field and the Sankofa field that we worked on in our time", he answered.
"And that made me, in 2016, say that Ghana was going to be the fastest-growing economy in the world and that we are going to grow above eight per cent. I predicted it before they came into office", Mr Mahama noted.
"And, so, you [Akufo-Addo government] come into office – we were receiving less than a billion cedis in revenue from oil – and because of TEN and Sankofa, you're receiving almost GHS4 billion in revenue; four times what we got. And then we introduced ESLA and you were so much against ESLA and said when you come, you’ll repeal it; ESLA is bringing GHS3 billion more revenue than what we got.
"And, so, you're seeing growth based on those revenues, you didn’t introduce them, you’re just the beneficiary of the hard work that the previous government did. And yet, that's what they are trumpeting: the fastest-growing economy. It cannot be by accident. Yes, it is not by accident because we worked just to make it happen", the former President told his audience.
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