A former Deputy Finance Minister under the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) government, Fifi Kwetey, has said that President Akufo-Addo is unaware of the realities existing in some sectors of the economy; for which reason he is creating the impression that the difficulties can be easily resolved.
He said Akufo-Addo’s comments during the State of the Nation Address suggests that, some of the difficulties pertaining in the country were intentionally created by previous government. Speaking on Eyewitness News, Fifi Kwetey said, the expenditures of the NDC said to be reckless by the NPP government, were to improve ailing aspects of the economy. “If you play to the gallery, you create the impression that it is easy to remove energy sector levy in order to make electricity affordable to the people of Ghana when you don’t even know what the realities as far as the energy sector is concerned… and you make it look like it is the creation of the NDC..”
“Irresponsible statements that do not tell the truth to the people, and make the people believe that you can continue subsidizing utilities and fuel when the truth is that, that subsidy is only going to create further difficulties for the same people,” Fifi Kwetey said. “That is why we [NDC] removed the subsidies and introduced the energy sector levies to general resources to retire those. These are the same people who without knowing the realities went on campaign platform to say they will remove this and that. Now they are in power; and it seems the reality is now hitting them,” he added. President Akufo-Addo while presenting his maiden State of the Nation Address before Parliament on Tuesday, suggested that the NDC had plunged the country into economic difficulties. He noted that, the NDC government had supervised an unprecedented increase in the country’s debt stock from GHs9.5 billion to GHs122 billion.
He also revealed that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government, over spent its budget by some GH¢7 billion, and failed to meet almost all of its targets under the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme. But according to the Member of Parliament for Ketu South, the budget overrun was on account of the single spine. He said there were legitimate reasons for the overruns, and therefore the NDC government cannot be accused of mismanagement. Fifi Kwetey cited a shortfall in grants, and issues regarding the payment of corporate tax in oil sector as factors that accounted for the budget overrun.
He further said that, in spite of Akufo-Addo’s gloomy picture of the economy, the country had made significant gains under the John Mahama-led government as other indicators showed a reduction in inflation, stability in the cedi, and a growth perspective of the country. He accused the NPP of leaving the country in a more dire situation in 2009, saying the NDC in spite of that managed to ensure growth for the economy. He also advised President Akufo-Addo to “stop the lamentation and address the situation as he has promised to deal with”.
By: Jonas Nyabor