Two Members of Parliament exchanged perspectives on what accounts for the current economic challenges that Ghana is going through.
Whereas Cassiel Ato Forson (NDC MP, Ajumako Enyan Essiam) insisted that reckless borrowing and mismanagement was at the heart of the crisis, Andrew Egyapa Mercer (NPP MP, Sekondi) said the impact of COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war cannot be discounted in the general scheme of affairs.
Both sides explain their positions
Ato Forson, in an in-studio interview on Accra-based Asempa FM (January 16) lambasted Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, for driving the country into a ditch and refusing to resign despite sustained pressures from different quarters.
Egyapa Mercer contributing via text message expressed surprise at the refusal of the NDC to acknowledge the impact of the ongoing war and the COVID-19.
What Ato Forson said:
Ato Forson in a rebuttal described the Russia-Ukraine excuse especially as an over-flogged horse. “These excuses are nothing new. Did we give Russia and Ukraine a loan to buy arms for the war?
“Did we buy bombs for Russia to bomb Ukraine? Did we buy a bomb, plane or helicopter for Russia? What did we do to Russia and Ukraine to balloon our debts so much so that we have to give people not haircuts but head cuts? What are we talking about?
“Is the depreciation of the cedi caused by Russia and Ukraine? Let us be wary of NPP propaganda. It is as though they have been enrolled in a choir school where they sing the same chorus,” he stressed.
Ghana had a torrid 2022 amid an economic crisis that forced the government to seek an International Monetary Fund (IMF) facility at a time when the cedi was rapidly depreciating, inflation was galloping, and the government was faced with multiple downgrades by rating agencies.
The government has repeatedly blamed the crisis partly on the aftershocks of the COVID pandemic and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
It has promised to turn around the economic fortunes of the country after sealing a staff-level agreement with the IMF late last year, with hopes that funds from the US$3 billion facility will be released early this year.
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