Economy lacks Direction under Akufo Addo– Minority MPs

Some Members of Parliament of the opposition National Democratic Congress(NDC) have expressed disagreement with President Nana Akufo Addo over the state of Ghana economic policy over the last 12 months, when he address parliament on his second State of the Nation last week Thursday February 8.

While the President said, his administration was on the right track and that there was no alternative to what it was doing economically, some MPs of the Minority side disagreed, insisting that the economy is lacking direction and could be run better.

The President in his address to the nation in parliament, repeatedly stated that, “I believe that we are on the right track,” for in his view there would be some pains, but there was no alternative to what his administration is doing.

He claimed that the administration had fulfilled most of its campaign promises to address insecurity, fix the economy and fight corruption.

In the area of security, Nana Akufo Addo said the security would be equip to fight crime, especially the emerging issues in the country and that the security have been instructed to treat law breakers without fear or favour.

The President also claimed that, the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) would also be supported with, “I will also point out that much of the statutory arrears that we met have been cleared; that is, debts to the NHIS, the District Assembly Common Fund, and the GETFund.”

However, some of the Minority MPs who spoke to THE REPUBLIC disagreed with the President policies and described the State of the Nation Address(SONA) as a continuation of promises and an opportunistic deception.

Hon Sebastian Sandaare

Dr Sandaare MP for Daffiama/Bussie/Issa told the paper that, the President failed to tell Ghanaians the real state of health of the country. According to him, it was expected that the President use the occasion to tell us the state of health problems and how his government intend handling such health problems.

The MP said, over the last 12 months, many health problems occurred including meningitis where students died, H1N1, and several health related issues and therefore described the 2018 SONA as “campaign rhetoric” and must be seize in the next address.

Hon Umar Alhassan

Hon Umar Alhassan, MP for Zabzugu is of the view that, the president use the 2018 state of the nation address to reecho his campaign promises and that nothing that was said by the president in parliament is never said in their campaign prior to the 2016 general polls.

He said, the president missed the opportunity to tell Ghanaians, the true state of the nation, where he took the nation from,? what he has done over the last 12 months and how he intend to address some of the issues facing the populate.

In the view of the Zabzugu lawmaker, President Akufo Addo has the penchant of deceiving the Ghanaian populates and that it was time the President for once speak the truth.

Mr Umar expressed surprise the conspicuous missing in the SONA, the government flagship programme like One District one Factory, one village one dam, among other unfulfilled promises.

Hon Kobbina Woyome
Hon Woyome is MP for South Tongu and Ranking member on Youth and Sports Committee of parliament. He told the paper that the President was misleading the nation in his 2018 SONA to parliament.
According to him, sports is becoming synonymous to tourism in terms of site attraction and that for the President to focus on soccers fields creation at Zongos without tackling the Sports sector as a whole would not bring dividend to the sport industry.

Mr Woyome said, all over the world, nations devotes much resources and policies in developing sports industry and that for Ghana to catch up with the rest of the world, the government must try to marry sports with the tourism sector so it could flourish.

Hon Abdul-Aziz Muniru
Hon Muniru is MP for Akan and member of the parliamentary sub committee of Works and Housing. He said he was expecting the President of the Republic to tell Ghanaians how he intend solving the housing deficits of the country.

According to him, rent is currently on the high and making its more expensive for young people to access accommodations, adding that, ” I was expectations the President to tell us how he intend solving the housing issues. How he intend to complete some of the housing projects started by the John Mahama administration.

He also expressed concern on the fact that, the Eastern Corridor road has not receive better assurance, as the President sought to blame the previous government in his SONA to parliament.

Hon Ato Forson
Mr Ato Forson, MP for Ajumako Eyan Essiam said the President statement sought to paint a rosy picture of the Ghanaian economy.
The President recited a number of macro-economic indices which he says are pointing in the right direction and which show that the economy is on the right track. He cited the growth rate and inflation among other indices as evidence of this supposed economic performance.
But in the view of the Minority Ranking member on Finance, “the President rather predictably failed to give a proper account of the trajectory of these indices and the history behind them as this would have revealed the fact that they are not attributable to any exceptional economic management strategy by his government, but rather the product of hard work put in by the Mahama administration.”

Mr Ato Forson who is a former Deputy Minister for Finance said it was a clear fact that as far back as the second quarter of 2016, several international financial institutions had projected that Ghana economy was going to grow by over 7% in 2017 and close to 9% in 2018.

He cited the World Bank, IMF, the Economist Intelligence Unit among others institutions which all indicated that additional production of oil from the TEN and SANKOFA fields starting from the last quarter of 2016 was going to result in high growth rates in 2017 and 2018.

Hon Isaac Adongo

Mr Adongo, MP for Bolgatanga Central said, the President gave Ghanaians another version of empty economic analysis and noted that the president was suffering from the empty analysis by his Vice Dr Mahammoud Bawumia.

He argued that, if a ministers inflate contracts and 44% of those contracts are rejected from being pushed through sole sourcing, “how can you just put the proposed contract sums together and say you have saved the state those monies?”

It is only when you then contract those projects through competitive tendering at a Lower contract price that you can describe the difference as savings. Even then, how can you save the state money when it is your own ministers and government who inflated the contract sums to defraud the state?

Mr Adongo mocked that, “instead of claiming savings from your own fraudulent conduct, the President should have been reporting the names of those ministers who submitted the inflated contracts for sole sourcing and which BNI cells are holding them in wait for Martin Amidu”

When President Nana Akufo Addo took office in 2017, he described Ghana’s growing economy as being “in a precarious state” which was of external factors mainly falling oil prices that intensified internal problems.

In his inauguration speech, the Septuagenarian at 73, said careful management would be needed to bring the Ghanaian economy out of the deep trouble he claimed the nation was facing under John Mahama administration.

He also pledged to take action to tackle corruption, end external borrowing, inject better management against poor management and insecurity insurgents in the system.

However, members of the minority economic analyst said clearly, there is a sense of anxiety and concern about economic direction, because the president himself doesn’t have any economic credentials whatsoever and it’s not clear who is advising him. Engsalige Nyaaba

The Republic News Online

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