Economic figures best in 20 years – Veep

Ghana's Vice President John Dramani Mahama
Three years into its administration, the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) continues to blame the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for leaving “empty coffers”, hence the reason it has lagged behind in the fulfillment of many of its campaign promises.

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Vice President John Dramani Mahama, addressing a forum of NDC Youth at the National Theatre in Accra, said the government has used huge amount of money to defray colossal debt left behind by the NPP, a reason he cited, as having led to the agitations of the NDC foot soldiers.

Nonetheless, he intimated that the government is still on course with her “Better Ghana Agenda” which focuses on stabilizing the economy.

Vice President Mahama explained that the ruling NDC took over the reins of governance at a time when the economy was on the verge of collapse. He continued that the Mills-led government inherited an economy with a deficit of about 22% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which according to him affected the stability of the country.

He discounted the initial economic figure of 9% deficit of GDP purported by the NPP, adding that the huge GDP deficit left by the erstwhile President J.A Kufour and his government depreciated the cedi currency as against the US dollar, hence, sagging the “confidence” of the country.

“As soon as we took over power, the first letter we got was that; oh it’s not 9%, we didn’t know all along but actually the deficit is like about 13 or 14%. But be that as it may, we should be able to tell the truth now. We were faced with an economy where the cedi was falling, inflation was high, interest rate had gone up, and confidence in the economy was shaken. And so even though the official figure given was 13%, when Governor Duffour went to parliament to present the final budget for 2009, he used a figure of 15%. Subsequently we found deficit and arrears that meant that the deficit on the economy was closer to 22%.”

He emphasized that such economic failure on the part of the NPP prolonged the activities set up by the incumbent government to revive the economy. According to him, the money allocated for the projects and promises enshrined in the NDC Manifesto was used to defray the cost in order to stabilize the economy.

Allaying all fears in public domain, he said the Kufuor’s regime left Ghana in arrears which the incumbent NDC government has remitted within its three years of administration.

“We put our shoulders to the wheel and decided that we will fix this economy. And with God on our side, we have fixed this economy.”

He praised the government for stabilizing the cedi and achieving a single inflationary digit stressing that the “economic figures” achieved under the administration of President J.E.A Mills are the “best we’ve seen in more than 20 years.”

He was confident the government would be given another mandate into power touting the achievements so far chalked by the government.