An economist has cast doubt on the actualisation of both the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) manifestoes should they win the upcoming elections.
Prof Godfred Bokpin in an interview on Joy FM’s Top Story Tuesday, noted that the economy has been badly affected by the current Covid-19 crisis, therefore, raising resources and funds to achieve the numerous promises listed by both parties will be difficult.
“The manifestoes didn’t recognise Covid-19 that these are unusual times that we are talking about Ghana’s economy where recovery now will go beyond three years. We are not talking about growth post Covid-19 and all of that.
“So I see a big disconnect between the reality on the ground right now and the medium term outlook and the manifestoes we are considering right now,” he stated.
His comments come after NDC’s flagbearer, John Mahama together with his running mate, Prof Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang and some top NDC officials highlighted their policies and initiatives should they win the December polls.
In the 143 page document titled ‘The People’s Manifesto’, the NDC pledged at least 18 free items across all sectors.
There was mention free primary healthcare, tertiary education to persons with a disability, seedlings for cocoa farmers under agriculture among others.
But commenting on the NDC’s ‘Big Push’ agenda that is to invest $10 billion in infrastructure, education and agriculture, Prof Bokpin said the country’s debt stock will rise.
This, he argued, will retrogress the growth of the economy post Covid-19.
“When you go through the entire manifesto and there is very little effort at demonstrating how the money will be accumulated to finance this without adding to the public debt stock.”
“The NDC must come clearly and demonstrate bearing in mind the challenges we have right now and the outlook for the next three to four years and how this promises sits within this. Until then, I think we do not have anything to discuss,” he said.
But responding to the economist, the NDC parliamentary candidate for Abura Asebu Kwamankese, Felix Kwakye Ofosu said Mr Mahama is committed to using internal means to generate revenue for the $10 billion Big Push agenda.
“I don’t think that the impression should be created that merely because we have Covid-19, we are going to stop collecting revenue, or we are no longer going to benefit from oil revenue as a country.
“What will happen is that government is going to readjust its priorities and cut down on non-critical consumption related expenditure.”