Economic Lecture Bawumia threw figures around for political effect - Economist

In an interview with Pulse.com.gh, Dr. Laud Mensah said Dr. Bawumia merely threw figures around to achieve political gains.

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A Lecturer at the University of Ghana Business School, Dr. Laud Mensah has described the lecture by vice presidential candidate of the NPP, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia as more political than usual.

While he agrees with 70% of the assertions made by Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia on the state of the economy, Dr. Mensah says figures were barely thrown around creating an economic impression that did not paint the true picture, especially in his accusations of poor debt management by the Mahama administration.

In an interview with Pulse.com.gh, Dr. Laud Mensah said Dr. Bawumia merely threw figures around to achieve political gains.

“I get the sense that Dr. Bawumia played a lot of politics with the figures especially the debt issue. If you look at the figures carefully, you will see that the dynamics have changed. If borrowed years ago to produce two roads when the population was 18 million, you will need to borrow more when the population is 25 million. This will make your borrowing capacity go up. I expected Dr. Bawumia to add that analysis to his submission, instead of just throwing figures about”.

Dr. Laud Mensah again refuted the former Central Bank Governor’s assertion that government has failed to maintain policy discipline under the country’s three-year IMF bailout program.

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Dr. Bawumia referred to the failure of the Bank of Ghana Amendment Bill to follow the 0% budget financing restriction by the IMF.

“I beg to differ with Dr. Bawumia on that assertion, because parliament has the constitutional right to peg the restriction at any level they deem fit, and that does not mean the government has been indiscipline in following the conditions of the IMF.

“Even the minority in parliament, Dr. Bawumia’s own people saw that reducing the central bank’s budget financing from 10% to 0% as stipulated by the IMF,” he said.

The economist, however, lauded the promise to create a more comprehensive national base as a good policy, that when implemented, will go a long way to remedy issues of unemployment, collection of domestic tax revenue and the provision of adequate infrastructure for the country.

Dr. Mensah, however, questioned how the NPP intends to implement their 1 million dollars to a constituency policy.

‘The NPP would need about 275 million dollars to implement this policy. Given that the country currently struggles to reach its revenue generation targets of 1.2 billion dollars, it is difficult to say how the NPP will finance this policy.”

“You cannot bank your finance that is not available,” Dr. Mensah said.

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