The Vice President of IMANI Africa, Bright Simons, says it was rather disappointing to discover factual inaccuracies in the President’s address to the nation on the state of the economy.

According to him, the President claiming that inflation rates have gone up 11 times in Senegal and 16 times in Togo are both false and should be disregarded.

He noted that it was rather disappointing for the President to present such factual inaccuracies in his first major speech addressing the nation on the fiscal challenges bedeviling the economy.

“One of the things I did not expect to see even though it was a minor issue was the fact that the President’s speech had some serious factual inaccuracies. This was his biggest speech on the subject matter, so you’d assume that his research assistants and his aids would have spent significant amount of time making sure that he’s presenting something of unimpeachable integrity.

“So I was surprised to find out that he was suggesting that Senegal has seen inflation go up 11 times, Togo has seen inflation go up 16 times, and that’s just not the fact because you can just go and look either at their own statistical authorities, the data that they put out, or from the IMF which performs the global surveillance function and you’d realize that none of that is true,” he said.

“The actual numbers… show that yes, Senegal has seen some inflation movement but that inflation movement is nowhere near 11 times, it’s around 4 times. Secondly it has done that with very significant growth in its economy. Whereas Ghana is tanking to 3.6%, Senegal is increasing above 5%. You also saw that with Togo where he said it’s also increased to about 16 times, that is not true either,” he added.

Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, Bright Simons explained that the factual inaccuracies reflect the government’s lack of ownership about the current situation.

He noted that the government’s posturing by deflecting blame away from itself to external factors such as the Russia-Ukraine war and Covid-19 is indicative of the fact that it will be unable to take the serious decisions that will rescue the country’s economy from the fiscal quagmire.

“I just have a certain feeling that if it is a President speaking it should show that the work that has gone into this speech and of course the speech is reflective of the policy that the country is being taken towards and therefore you’d expect that that speech is informed by really robust analysis. So you’d expect that the President’s speech will be completely unimpeachable. So I was surprised by this.

“So even though it is a minor point, it raises issue about the quality of the work overall that is guiding the policy development. But that is not the most important thing. The most important thing is it also reflects a lack of ownership within the government about the current situation.

“And what I mean by that is simple, if the government continues to insist that none of its policies are responsible for where we are, it is going to be increasingly more difficult for them to be able to take the very hard decisions that have to be taken at the heart of government to try improve the situation.

“Because if everything is ‘others have it worse than others; our situation is better than others; and none of our problems are particularly of our own making’ then we cannot really set out to reform the things you must reform,” he explained.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.