Retired Ghanaian diplomat Dr K. B. Asante has defended President Nana Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s statement Tuesday that Ghana’s economy is the worst since independence.
“We have to admit that after 60 years our economy is bad,” he told a gathering at the DOTTS programme organised by DreamOval and Joy FM Thursday.
He said although the President’s statistics were “unpleasant” for his political opponents, Ghanaians must learn to appreciate the truth.
President Akufo-Addo said in his first State of the Nation’s Address that the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for 2016 was 3.6 percent, the lowest GDP growth in about 23 years.
He said this was attributable to fiscal indiscipline, high borrowing attitude, and mismanagement of the economy by former President John Mahama’s government.
“In fact, virtually all the targets under the IMF programme, as at December 2016, have been missed. Fiscal indiscipline, once again, reared its head in the 2016 election year,” he said.
According to him, out of a GH¢43.9 billion (26% of GDP) total projected expenditure for 2016, the actual expenditure amounted to GH¢50.3 billion (30.2% of GDP).
“The full facts of the situation have not been put before the Ghanaian people,” he lamented.
However, at a news conference in Accra Wednesday, the NDC MPs said the President relied on provisional figures instead of waiting for the real facts from the Ghana Statistical Services (GSS).
Minority leader, Haruna Iddrisu who spoke on behalf of his colleagues said the NDC steered the country to achieve a record 14.4 percent economic growth rate in 2011, despite the underperformance picture painted by the President.
“We have contributed to the growth of the economy before so you must appreciate what the global dynamics meant on the growth of the Ghanaian economy,” he said.
But Dr Asante who served in the government of Ghana’s first President Kwame Nkrumah said President Akufo-Addo was right in his assessment of the economy.
“What he said was the truth even though he is a President and leader of a party,” he said, adding it should be possible for Ghanaians to accept what is right despite who said it.
“If we the people do not admit the obvious mistakes of our and try to correct bad politics the sorry state of the economy will continue,” he warned.
Dr Asante was emphatic that what is true is true even if it was put out by the President who is seen the leader of a political party.
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