Mr. Richard Quashigah, Propaganda Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has described as laughable the New Patriotic Party’s assertion that inflation figures put out by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) are untrue and riddled with errors.

He said the methods used by the GSS to arrive at those figures were the same used under the NPP, wondering why the party would turn round to criticize a system which had prevailed during their tenure of office.

Mr. Quashigah said: “… It was the same approach that was used when they were in government and when he (Kwaku Kwarteng, Policy Advisor of the NPP) was their spokesperson on Finance: This is a clear indication that the NPP is becoming so desperate and frustrated for power.”

He told The Enquirer in an interview via telephone in Accra that the NPP’s comments over a wide range of national issues have exposed their hypocrisy and double standards.

The Propaganda Secretary of the NDC stated that Kwaku Kwarteng was just being mischievous by trying to skew the facts to suit the ambitions of the NPP.

“He is just being mischievous and trying to throw dust into people’s eyes by actually playing on the figures in order to confuse the system and create the impression that Statistical Service is now doing something untoward,” he reiterated.

Beyond Kwaku Kwarteng, Mr. Quashigah described as bogus an allegation by NPP’s General Secretary Mr. Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, alias Sir John, that a plot to implicate several NPP gurus with ‘substances’ planted in their luggage as been hatched.

He said, “Sir John’s effusions about cocaine and drugs and the intentions of people wanting to plant drugs on the NPP top brass smacks off another frustration and hypocrisy.”

Mr. Quashigah, who was not surprised at Sir John’s unsolicited warning to his NPP members, alleged “The NPP as far as illicit drugs are concerned clearly seems to have an enviable track record.”

The Propaganda Secretary of the NDC, buttressing his allegation, insisted that a number of cases attest to this fact, saying “An NPP Member of Parliament was arrested in the US with drugs; an aide of the current flagberaer has also been convicted of smuggling narcotic drugs before. Don’t forget the 77 parcels of cocaine which disappeared from the MV Benjamin and the cocaine that turned into ‘Kokonte’ (cassava powder) in the police ward.”

According to him, the NPP ought to have applauded the recent arrests made by NACOB officials, instead of coming out with the issue of some people supposedly planning to plant some cocaine on them.

Touching on the ‘much argued about’ $3 billion Chinese loan which the NPP fiercely opposed its approval in parliament some days ago, Mr. Quashigah said the NPP knew how that money would improve the lot of the ordinary Ghanaian, hence their resistance to it.

“Again, when the three billion issue came up, the NPP realised that the amount would bring a lot of development to the people which would be a plus to the NDC, a reason why they want to do anything to kick against it,” he contended.

Within the same NPP, Mr. Quashigah said, there are people like the MP for Effia-Kwesimintsim in the Western Region, Hon. Joe Baidoe-Ansah, who think the loan is good and that if it was more than $6 billion he would have been happier, adding that “the NPP is trying to find any reasonable ground to rubbish everything the government does.”

Recently, the NPP claimed in a letter to the Government Statistician, Dr. Grace Bediako, dated August 19, 2011, that the Policy Research Desk of the party has discovered a number of phantom entries in the official document given them by the Ghana Statistical Service on indices used to calculate inflation figures in Ghana.

“The Policy research Desk of the NPP has studied the data, and discovered significant irregularities and errors, which we consider the GSS needs to deal with immediately,” the letter signed by Mr. Kwaku Kwarteng, Policy Advisor of the NPP said.

According to the NPP, the Statistical Service furnished the party with indices, indicating that a number of items on the various markets throughout the country do not attract any cost.

“We discovered that the prices of many items at the five months, January 2011 to May 2011, were taken as zero Ghana cedis (GH¢ 0.00) by your outfit. The meaning is that these items are given out for free at these markets,” the NPP stated.

The party claimed that the indices from the Statistical Service indicated that Bolgatanga, the Upper East Regional Capital, for instance, pineapple, coconut oil, bush meat, butter, men’s shoes, construction and repair charges for text books were all zero rated.

To the NPP, the document presented by the Statistical Service seemed to indicate that in Accra, fresh prawns, butter, Tusker cigarette, charcoal, electric irons, Omo, light bulbs and doctor’s consultation fees do not attract any payment in a typical market situation.

But the Director of Economic Statistical Division of GSS, Mr. Ebo Duncan, however, insists that their data is accurate, saying the NPP got the whole thing wrong.

“We have been using the same formula for a very long time. Nothing has changed. Our system has always given the true reflection of what obtains in a market situation,” he said.

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