Economy in good hands— Dr. Bawumia
The Vice-President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has urged Ghanaians to be optimistic about the competent management of Ghana's economy, saying it has begun to show strong signs of recovery following the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said the exceptional economic prowess and intelligence of the managers of the economy, led by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, was key to wealth creation to reduce poverty, attract investments, empower businesses to expand to create jobs, and deliver quality education to make the economy yield prosperity for all.
The Vice-President gave the assurance last Saturday at the Central Regional conference of the Tertiary Students Confederacy (TESCON), a tertiary students wing of the New Patriotic Party, held at the University of Cape Coast.
Speaking on "Breaking the Eight: the role of TESCON", Dr. Bawumia said the country’s current political administration had generally exercised impressive discernment, good judgement and management of the exchange rate, and described it as "the best since 1992 and the performance in 2020 and 2021 simply superb".
Regardless of the recession across the world due to the outbreak of COVID-19, Dr. Bawumia said Ghana's economy had witnessed one of the lowest inflation rates in about two decades, and emphasised that at the peak of the pandemic, inflation was 11.8 per cent, but dropped to 10 per cent in May, and further dropped to seven per cent in June 2021.
He said “the prudent management of the economy” had ensured that the overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP), excluding oil, which declined to 5.8 per cent and three per cent in the first and second quarters of 2020, had rebounded strongly and registered a positive growth of four per cent by the last quarter of 2020.
Dr. Bawumia said the growth momentum had continued in the first quarter of 2021 as the economy registered further non-oil growth of 4.6 per cent.
The Bank of Ghana (BOG) Composite Index of real sector activities, according to him, had also seen a strong pick-up in the economic activities, recording a 33.1 per cent annual growth in 2021 as compared to a contraction of 10 per cent in 2020.
The economic feat signified a restoration of momentum of growth the country lost at the heart of the pandemic last year, he said.
On the country's debt management, Dr. Bawumia praised, particularly, the BoG, saying the cedi had maintained a measure of stability notwithstanding the impact of COVID-19, adding that the currency had always experienced some form of shock after every election year under the Fourth Republic as was currently being experienced with the depreciation of the cedi.
Touching on the national debt, the Vice-President acknowledged that debt levels had gone up, but pointed out that economic management variables were exceptionally bright and hopeful.
"The debt level has increased, but the government wants to maintain a prudent debt level management because if you don't manage your debt level properly, it will affect your interest rate, exchange rate, inflation rate and growth rate," he indicated.
"When the National Democratic Congress was in government, their economic mismanagement took us to HIPC (highly indebted poor country) status because they had mismanaged the debt level such that there was high inflation, high exchange rate, high interest rate and low growth, and later had to be bailed by the IMF," the Vice-President noted.