Former President John Mahama has described Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia’s statement blaming Mr Mahama’s administration, partly, for the need to seek assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as ridiculous and comical.
According to him, this is unbecoming of someone tasked with the role of Head of the Economic Management Team.
Vice President Bawumia, while launching an IT programme at the Accra Business School on July 14, acknowledged the prevailing economic challenges and justified government’s decision to engage the IMF for support.
“The prevailing difficulties can be attributed to the “quadruple whammy” the government faces – excess capacity payments, banking sector crisis, Covid-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war. If you take out the fiscal impact of this quadruple whammy, Ghana will not be going to the IMF for support because our fiscal, debt and balance of payments outlook would be sustainable.
“Of the four factors, two (COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war) were external and the other two (the banking sector clean-up and the excess capacity payments) were the result of policies of the previous government,” he said.
In reaction, ex-President Mahama, while addressing members of the Minority Caucus in Parliament at a retreat on Sunday, asserted that the current economic situation is blamable solely on the leadership deficit of the current administration under Dr Bawumia as the Head of the Economic Management Team.
“…he has chosen to show a gaping deficit in leadership attributes by making untenable excuses and seeking to shift blame onto the government that left power almost six years ago and which had no role to play in the poor policy choices that have delivered these disastrous outcomes.
“Amid this gloomy outlook, those responsible for the mess refuse to exhibit contrition and sobriety. One of the key architects of the failed policies and mismanagement that have led to our economic downfall and suffering, found it necessary a couple of days ago, to put up a public display that verged on the ridiculous and comical,” Mr Mahama said.
He noted that elsewhere, the obvious thing Dr Bawumia would have done would be to resign, “in a government where honour and responsibility are respected, the Chair of the Economic Management Team that has thrust us into this crisis would have stepped down or dismissed.”
According to the 2020 NDC flagbearer, the descision by the government to resort to the IMF is enough grounds for Dr. Bawumia to resign, “In fact, the very idea that this government has requested for an IMF programme would have been sufficient reason for him to go in view of all the unenlightened propaganda he dabbled in against our IMF programme of 2015.”
The ex-president stressed that, “none of the tall list of excuses he made for where we are is acceptable. All our neighbors were also affected by COVID-19 and exist in the same world in which the Russian- Ukrainian conflict is raging.
Almost none of them have anywhere near 30% inflation, or double-digit deficits or the kind of debt we have or a debt to GDP ratio around 90%. None of them has a higher risk of debt default than we do. The often-cited GHC25 billion used in the so-called financial sector clean-up was self-inflicted and the result of reckless, politically motivated decision-making.”