By Adu Koranteng
The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, says Ghana’s economy is in good hands and is being steered in the right direction for growth.
He thus advised Ghanaians to ignore naysayers who believe the economy is on a downward trend instead.
“Be reassured that this economy is in good hands. We are not where we want to be, but we believe that we are on course. But as all good sailors know, rough and turbulent seas are no indication that you are not steering well,” he said.
Dr. Bawumia made these remarks when he was speaking at the Ghana Industrial Summit and Exhibition in Accra on Tuesday.
He also touched on the Standard and Poor’s upgrade of Ghana’s economic rating from B- to B, saying it is an indication that the country’s fundamentals are strong.
“Our recent ratings by Standard and Poor’s agency from B- to a solid B with a stable outlook is a confirmation that we are building fundamentals of the economy in the right direction. If you listen to the critics you will miss the following facts about the economy. That the economic growth has more than doubled from its 2016 level from 3.7% to 8.5%, that the agricultural growth is trending upward and industry growth rose from a negative half a percent to 17.7% at the end of 2017,” he added.
The Vice President said inflation has reduced to 9.9% and the treasury bill rates have declined tremendously.
He also said the country’s debt to GDP ratio has also declined from 73% to 64.4%.
“Inflation continues to decline just slightly below 10% at 9.9%. The interest rate of the 91-day treasury bills are also on the decline. Our trade position has strengthened significantly and our gross international reserves now cover 3.9 months of imports. The debt to GDP ratio has declined from 73% in 2016 to 64.4% in June 2018. We are striving for a low and stable inflation rate,” he added.
Meanwhile, a former Deputy Information Minister, Felix Kwakye Ofosu, said the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), should be grateful to the Mahama administration for the role they played in laying a solid foundation which the Akufo-Addo government is riding on.
He in an interview with citinewsroom.com insisted that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) did not hand over a messed-up economy to the NPP as has been suggested.
“From the evidence of what we have seen, it does not appear that the NPP has any magic wand to turn things around. Contrary to their claim that they inherited a mess or the current poor performance is on account of what they inherited, I will argue that it was the foundation that was laid by the NDC government that has resulted in the attainment of some of the figures they are throwing about,” he added.
The Vice President recently allayed fears that Ghana’s economy could crumble as a result of the gradual depreciation of the cedi against the US dollar.
Some economists, members of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and many Ghanaians, have criticized government for failing to fix the cedi’s fall, and also deal with its general impact on the larger economy.
But Dr. Bawumia largely blamed the cedi’s depreciation on the strength of the US dollar, saying other currencies like the pounds were also struggling against the US dollar.
He said the NDC lacks the moral authority to accuse the NPP government of delaying in fixing the “Tattered economy” they inherited from them.