Majority leader in Parliament has taken a swipe at the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for its criticisms of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) performance in government in respect to growth of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The NDC Minority, he said, have no moral right to criticize the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government when the NDC is on record as the government that has presided over the worst GDP growth in recent times.
The Hon. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu who was concluding debate on the 2019 Budget Statement of government observed that in 2015, GDP growth under the watch of the NDC was 3.8% but upon rebasing, it has climbed down to 2.2%, which is the worst performance of the economy in 35 years.
He argued that the plain undeniable truth grounded on factual evidence is that the interplay of the policies and programmes of the NPP administration in 2017 and 2018 has resulted in strengthening the economic fundamentals of the country.
According to him, in 2000 the GDP growth inherited by President J.A. Kufuor was 3.7%. He stressed that the growth trajectory from that period onwards was upwards beginning from 2001 with a 4.2% through 4.5, 5.2, 5.6, 5.9, 6.4, 6.3 and 9.1 percents consecutively up to 2008.
All these growth, he argued, were achieved in a non-oil economy, which demonstrates how a really sound economic aggregate looks like.
He said, “Now compare to the 4.8 downward swing in 2009 to 7.9 in 2010 and 14.0 in 2011, which year represents the first time the country benefited from crude oil exports.”
GDP growth, the Majority leader said, then took a nosedive until it reached 4.0 in 2014, 3.8 in 2015 and the worst in 22 years, 3.6 in 2016.
He argued that upon rebasing this has climbed further down to 3.2%, which is the worst GDP growth in 30 years in the country under the watch of the NDC.
“And they say to us we rather are mismanaging the economy. That can only be an unfortunate statement,” he said,
Hon. Kyei-Mensah Bonsu noted that just two years into the administration of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the NPP, the economy has bounced back and in 2017 grew by 8.5.
He stressed that upon rebasing the economy, the 8.5 has translated to 8.1 and the 2018 provisional GDP growth pegged at 5.6%.
According to him, this means in 2016 GDP growth rate was 3.4 whereas the 3.8 percent rate in 2015 climbs down to 2.2%.
He said, “In 2015 your growth rate rebased, is 2.2 percent, the worst growth rate in this country for 35 years.”
“They are the people who are now clamouring that this country should be given back to them,” he stated.
The Majority leader stated that the policies underpinning the 2019 budget were derived from various documents including the 1992 Constitution, the 2016 NPP Manifesto, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the AU Agenda for 2063 and the Public Financial Management Act (PFMA) among many other documents.
These, he said, are the benchmarks being used to measure the 2019 Budget and stressed, “These should be the yardstick to assess any budget at all.”
Hon. Haruna Iddrissu, the Minority leader, when he took his turn urged the NPP government to learn to appreciate for the good of Ghana, the significant contribution of successive governments in laying the foundation for social and economic development of the country.
The 2017 growth rate, he said, was anchored by growth in oil and gas, which originates directly from the massive investments the Mahama administration did in the energy sector and not because the NPP knew economics better or for any work the government did.
By Osumanu Al-Hassanfirstname.lastname@example.org