President Akufo-Addo says the National Democratic Congress (NDC) would have brought the economy on its knees had the Covid-19 pandemic hit during their tenure.
According to him, his assessment of the economy since he took over in 2016 does not show that his predecessor had the capacity to surmount the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“So if those responsible for the 3.4% rate of growth and for the inflationary pressures that were so evident in Ghana at the time… if they were those in government when Covid-19 virus broke out, we would have buried the country. We would be buried by now. All of us… RIP,” he said on Accra-based Peace FM on Thursday.
His comments come in the wake of concerns from a cross-section of the public, especially the opposition NDC that government is hiding behind the pandemic to justify what they describe as economic mismanagement.
Last month, former President John Mahama said government’s expenditure and the desire to spend beyond the country’s means has plunged it into a crisis.
“This has been the luckiest government under the Fourth Republic. They have benefitted from 60% of all the oil revenue accruing to Ghana since we began producing oil; they have had more than twice the total tax revenue available to us… In addition, they had access to over $200 million from the Stabilization Fund we set up and got Central Bank Financing of ¢10 billion.”
“All of this notwithstanding, they have the least to show in terms of tangible gains or capital investments. Therefore, this government must accept that it is their mismanagement of the economy that have plunged us into the current crisis, not necessarily Covid-19,” he said at the NDC’s Professionals Forum lecture series at the University of Ghana.
But speaking on the Accra-based station as part of his tour of the Greater Accra Region, President Akufo-Addo expressed surprise at such assertions.
“I’m surprised to hear some of these accusations, especially the lips from which they come,” he said.
He insisted that his administration is working assiduously to surmount the wide range of global hindrances accompanying the pandemic.
“When I took over in 2017, the last year of the predecessor government, the rate of growth of the economy was 3.4%. The lowest in over 20 years. Our first year, the rate of growth was over 8%, second year 7%, third year, six-point something. On average, the growth rate of the economy between 2017 and 2020, the onset of Covid, was 7%. The 7% economic growth made us one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, not just on the African continent,” he said.
The President believes these efforts are beginning to reflect gradually and expressed optimism for the future.