Battle over GHC80bn debt: NDC members are hypocrites – Oppong Nkrumah
The Minister for Information, Mr. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has described the National Democratic Congress (NDC) claim that the Akufo-Addo-led administration is on a borrowing spree as fallacious and without basis.
The call by the Minority, saying the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government has borrowed GHS 80billion within two years since being in office does not hold water and is a mere plot to mislead Ghanaians, the Minister stated.
Mr. Oppong-Nkrumah said the NDC parliamentarians are not being truthful to Ghanaians with their claims, in the sense that, the erstwhile John Dramani Mahama administration approved many of these loans, which are now maturing and being disbursed under the NPP government, but they have rather turned round and are blaming the NPP for what they did while in office.
The NDC minority in parliament, led Mr. Fifi Kwetey, Member of Parliament for Ketu South, Mr. Cassiel Atto Forson, Member for Ajumako/Anyan/Essiam and others called a news conference last week Thursday and alleged that Ghana’s current total debt stands at GHS 200billion, equivalent to 58 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
According to the Minority, whilst the debt stock during their reign stood at GHS 120billion, representing 56 percent of GDP, the NPP government has within two years, increased the debt by GHS80 billion and yet has nothing to show for it.
Addressing a news conference in Accra last week Friday to react to the NDC claim, Mr. Oppong-Nkrumah said they (NDC) fed Ghanaians with falsehood.
“It is also amazing to hear people who understand national accounting to suggest that a change in the nominal debt stock means President Akufo-Addo has taken new loans of GHS 80billion.
As always, the very persons making the claim know the first addition to our debt stock is the current disbursement of loans contracted under their tenure.
“The ongoing disbursements of loans for the Eastern University and Tema Mpakadan railway, just to mention a few, all contribute to the GHS 80billion change in our nominal debt stock. How can anybody know this and make a claim that Akufo-Addo’s government has added GHS 80billion to our debt stock,” Mr. Oppong-Nkrumah quizzed.
The Information minister added: “Government has not borrowed GHS 80billion within two and a half years. Ghana’s domestic market can never even release that kind of money in two and half years. Our market is not as liquid as that”.
Expressing surprise about why the NDC has shifted from its previous position of rejecting calls for an account of borrowings, Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said the outrageous claims by the minority were part of the opposition party’s regular attempt to “scare Ghanaians with falsehoods.”
Mr. Nkrumah explained that the administration was capped at not exceeding US$ 500m in new project loans in 2017 and 2018, under the IMF program and has abided by that.
In 2019, the administration is further capped at not exceeding US$ 750m in new project loans and again intends to abide by it.
While advising Ghanaians to dismiss the NDCs usual ‘scare propaganda’ on the economy, Mr. Nkrumah argues that the evidence of the improved debt situation lies in the fact that, even including the financial sector bailout, the debt-GDP ratio which measures debt sustainability remains at 56%, thus negating the NDC’s claims of ballooning debt. He cautioned the Minority once again to desist from putting out false claims about the Ghanaian economy.
Akufo-Addo won 2016 polls on corruption –Atik Mohammed
Campaigns on corruption about the erstwhile John Dramani Mahama administration is what won President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo the 2016 polls, suspended General Secretary of the Peoples National Convention (PNC), Atik Mohammed has stated.
According to him on Accra-based Peace Fm monitored by MyNewsGh.com, the Mahama administration appeared sloppy in the fight against corruption which was capitalized on by the then opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) to win the last general elections.
“Akufo-Addo won the 2016 polls based on his campaign for corruption because the Mahama administration was perceived to be corrupt. Ghanaians voted for him because they wanted a change but if his administration is worse off than the previous one then there was no point”, he told host Kwami Sefa Kayi.
The former PNC leader expressed disappointment that out of the many corruption allegations no single individual has been thrown into the cooler to show the commitment of the Akufo-Addo led administration in the fight against graft.
Then candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in 2014 stated categorically that enriching himself and family has never be his reason for being in politics.
In spite of his two failed attempts at the presidency at the time, he explained he was given it a third shot because he has dreamt about what the country’s destination ought to be, and wanted to take Ghanaians to that promised land.
“I am not in politics to fill my pockets, to enrich myself or my family or to steal your money. That’s not why I am in politics,” he stressed, adding I am in politics because I have a vision and a dream of what this country can be and I want to work to make that dream possible. I am asking you to give me the opportunity, support me. Where it is necessary to criticize me, do not hesitate, point out when things are going wrong. Give me your positive enthusiasm and let’s go forward together. We can make it and make Ghana truly the Black Star of Africa,” he promised.
We inherited a weak institution – EC boss
Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) Jean Mensah has disclosed that she inherited a very weak institution which was not founded on rules.
She’s also expressed worry about how the Commission was run as a free for all institution that lacked governance framework and was a subject of state capture by foreign elements.
“It is an institution that has is not founded on rules, is not founded on administrative policies, does not have a governance framework. We came into office and found out that we do not have a single policy to guide procurement, to guide finance, to guide human resource, nothing exists.
“In a nutshell, the Commission has existed as an election machine, and over the year we have spent a lot of efforts to plug the loopholes to the best of our ability. It has been run as a free for all institution,” she explained.
Asawase risks voting ‘skirt and blouse’ – Disgruntled NDC members
Some disgruntled members of the opposition NDC in the Asawase Constituency have vowed to vote ‘skirt and blouse’ in 2020 general elections.
They will change their only if national executives rescind their decision on Masawudu Mubarak’s disqualification.
The party members are discontented about the party’s functional executive committee’s decision to disqualify their preferred candidate to contest the parliamentary primaries.
The decision, they believe, does not reflect the interest of delegates in the constituency.
“The decision is disappointing and disgraceful,” says one of the disgruntled members, Akolgo Martin told Joy News’ Mohammed Nurudeen.
Mr Martin is among many others who claim delegates of the party in the constituency are angry because they have been taken for granted for far too long.
They are threatening to vote against any candidate who will represent the party in the 2020 general elections.
Clad in red bands with frustration clearly written on their faces, they vow to boycott 2020 elections if their preferred candidate isn’t given the go-ahead to contest.
Gathered at the residence of the disqualified aspirant, Masawudu Mubarak to throw their continuous support behind him, Mr Martin said, “If our decision affects the party in 2020 they (national executives) brought it, especially Asiedu Nketiah.”
“They keep on imposing candidates on us,” Martin alleged.
“‘You cannot go unopposed like that. Let the people choose you,” Mariam Nuhu, one of the women’s branches organisers said.
She said they would either boycott the 2020 elections or choose to vote skirt and blouse.
For them, it will only be prudent for the party hierarchy to change its decision and allow their candidate to contest.
The incumbent Asawase MP, Muntaka Mubarak will contest 2020 parliamentary elections on the ticket of the opposition NDC unopposed.
This follows the acceptance of a report by the Doe Adjaho Committee which was constituted look into petitions surrounding the selection of parliamentary candidates.
The NDC held parliamentary primaries nationwide but the elections were put on hold in five constituencies including Asawase.
Elections were later held in four of the constituencies leaving Asawase where some NDC members had filed a petition to the National Executive Council of the party.
This follows their inability to file the nomination form of Masawudu Mubarick, the aspirant who is challenging the incumbent.
In a statement copied to Joy News, the party’s General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia said the issues have been settled and Mr Mubarak will now go unopposed.
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