Former President John Dramani Mahama has said that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government’s request for an International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme is a clear indication of how it has failed to keep the economy on course.
He said citing COVID-19 as the cause of the damage to the economy was unacceptable because all the country’s neighbours were also affected by the pandemic and the Russian-Ukrainian war.
He, however, said none of those countries had attained a 30 per cent inflation.
Speaking at the end of a three-day retreat for members of the Minority Caucus in Parliament in Ho yesterday, Mr Mahama said the present state of the economy highlighted the need for greater scrutiny of the executive and more efficient exercise of oversight functions by the Minority.
He insisted that the often-cited GH¢25 billion used in the financial sector clean-up was self-inflicted and politically motivated decision-making.
“One of the outcomes of this work is ESLA which, to date, has given this government about GH¢23 billion and this should be enough to substantially ease the financial problems of the sector.
The former President said no amount of buck-passing could wipe away the fact that the present economic situation stemmed from “reckless election-related expenditure, mismanagement, ineptitude, and lack of proper leadership.”
He re-affirmed the NDC’s stance to continue holding the government to account and offering viable alternative paths.
For that matter, he said, the NDC and the Minority in Parliament would not be supporting the ultra-expensive $1 billion syndicated loan agreement brought to Parliament by the Finance Minister.
“Our position on the $250 million component remains unchanged as such unfavourable terms as the $40 million insurance payment and total interest of over $80 million make it too expensive and inimical to the economic interest of Ghana.
Touching on the Ghana Card as the only form of identification for the continuous voter registration, Mr Mahama said it was being used as a political tool to deny many Ghanaians to participate in the 2024 elections.
Mr Mahama said the National Identification Authority had not covered every Ghanaian who should be registered or distributed all the cards printed to those who had been captured in their system.
“Until full and total coverage is achieved in the roll out of the Ghana Card, room must be made for those who are yet to be served, to exercise their democratic rights of voting.
The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, said the disenfranchising of Ghanaians through no fault of theirs would undermine the democratic foundation of the country.