The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has responded to Wednesday morning’s press briefing organised by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), dubbed “Moment of Truth.”
The NDC’s newly introduced press briefing series, dubbed, “Moment of Truth” is intended to focus on what the party terms as, “Exposing the failed promises of the Akufo-Addo – Bawumia government.”
The maiden edition of the briefing series, which is similar to the “Setting the Records Straight” edition, which used to be organised by Fifi Kwetey, whilst the NDC was in opposition between 2001 and 2009, was addressed by Mr Sammy Gyamfi, National Communications Officer of the NDC on Wednesday morning.
Mr Gyamfi explained that the focus of the briefings would be on the performance of the Akufo-Addo led government.
A few hours after the NDC briefing, the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) led by its National Youth Organiser, Henry Nana Boakye responded to the issues raised by the opposition.
Below is a copy of the NPP’s response to the NDC’s “Moment of Truth”
Ladies and Gentlemen of the media, thank you for responding to our invitation on such a short notice. As you are aware, The Truth Forum was formed in 2016 and during that year, we held several fora and media engagements to expose the lies and propaganda of the then government, led by John Dramani Mahama.
For the Truth Forum, which is under the Communications Directorate of the party, we believe that three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.
Ladies and Gentlemen, this morning, some members of the opposition NDC, led by their dishonest Communications Officer, Sammy Gyamfi, decided to once again throw dust into the eyes of Ghanaians.
After lying about President Akufo-Addo’s visit to South Africa, one would have expected Sammy Gyamfi to learn, but no, the newly elected communications officer of NDC, has rather doubled up on his ignorance.
And it was good to see Ambassador Victor Smith also present at the NDC press conference. We hope that he has returned the funds that his party founder and former Boss, says he diverted during his period of service to him.
Ladies and Gentlemen, listening to the NDC, what becomes clear to us is that they are suffering from deliberate ignorance and want the entire Ghanaian populace to share in this their malady. Fortunately, Ghanaians have proven time and again that we are able to see and avoid their wicked propaganda meant to keep our populace uneducated, impoverished and ignorant while they enjoy the benefits of the state whenever they are in power.
Today, the NDC made frivoulous claims and we will deal with them clearly.
Their first claim is that the vice President has moved from the field of economics to technology. Come to think of it – isn’t this a display of poverty of thought and a complete misunderstanding of what economic management is all about? So in the knowledge of the NDC economic management is anything but for technology?
Is there any better economy in this world that has not gone the digital way? Are they saying ensuring mobile money payments interoperability, electronic payments systems, national identification, digital property addresses, digitized land records, paperless port systems, and the others are not part of economic management? You see, if you have a party that only believes that GDP, inflation, interest rates etc are the only things to consider as economic management then we have a problem as a country.
And for the information of the NDC, all the economic fundamentals such as GDP, inflation, interest rates, budget deficits, trade balances and so on have been fixed by the Dr. Bawumia led economic management team relative to what we inherited. We are doing these alongside building a formalized economy through digitization. We can say that the alternative to NPP, which is the NDC is still scary.
No wonder during their rule a former vice president once said he ‘wants to be a DotCom millionaire and summoned his advisors and tasked them to show him the Dot on a keyboard’. Thankfully, we have a Veep like Dr. Bawumia who knows his onions when it comes to deploying technology to facilitate the delivery of government services and to help leapfrog economic development.
Ladies and gentlemen, they say that Dr. Bawumia has said that the NPP government has delivered on many of its promises and so he is a liar. They then went on to say that the NPP has not fulfilled all of its promises in two years and have failed the good people of Ghana. Ladies and gentlemen, is it not clear that they have failed to appreciate the four letter word many? Do they understand what MANY means? Is it not clear that this whole press conference was organized because they think the people of Ghana cannot see the difference between many and all?
What is even more baffling is that they admit that H.E. the Vice President stated that the NPP government is on track to deliver on all of its promises. So clearly, there is no attempt to pretend that all of the promises have been achieved. Looking at the mess they left behind, evidenced by the huge deficits and other indicators, this government has done astronomically well to bring our country to where we are.
Basically, a lack of understanding of the word many, has led to disgraceful dance that our friends on the other side are engaged in.
Again, they have sought to tell Ghanaians bold faced lies premised on their understanding that Ghanaians have short memories. Let us now examine their claims to see.
ONE MILLION PER CONSTITUENCY
The NDC claim that the Akufo-Addo administration has failed to deliver the 1million per constituency and that in the first year nothing was done.
May I take this opportunity to state that the NPP, mindful of the probability that funds could be wasted if the proper structures were not put in place decided to carefully construct a structure to ensure accountability and value for money, waited and put the structure in place before execution. As we speak, laws for all development authorities have been passed. Do we need to remind Ghanaians of how funds for the infamous Gyeeda were released hurriedly and spent wickedly, resulting in over 1 billion Ghana cedi wastage of public funds? After investigations, was it not the case that we were told it was because there were no laws and proper structures to demand accountability? What happened to the cronies and business associates of ex-President Mahama who were involved? Save Abuga Pele who was sacrificed on the altar of expediency to save the face of the administration, what happened to the rest?
The NPP therefore did the right thing and spent the initial stages setting up structures. It is sad that the NDC have not repented from their evil ways through which they steal government funds.
The NDC claimed that, under the 1million 1constituency policy, government can boast of only KVIP’s. The facts are that, the NPP promised 1million per constituency in its manifesto through the IPEP. As we speak, every constituency can boast of at least three (3) of these projects ;
1. Warehouse as part of 1 District 1 warehouse project.
2. One village one Dam projects.
3. Community based water systems.
4. 10-seater institutional toilets facilities.
If indeed the policy was to ensure bottom up approach to development, then we can say, IPEP is achieving its purpose on delivering on the basic needs of the people.
We can appreciate the frustration of the NDC MPs in the matter of the one million dollar per constituency. Their MPs were expecting to receive the monies on behalf of their constituents. It is dangerous to ask a lion to look after goats.
The NDC also claimed that, the NPP government has increased borrowing and taxation beyond measure. That is absolutely false.
The irony of the situation is that Mr. Seth Terkper. Former minister of Finance under the Mahama declared on August 23rd 2016, (article can be found on myjoyonline) that the NDC had unduly taxed Ghanaians.
In response to this obvious fact, the NPP upon assumption of office abolished over 17 taxes, including ……. When these taxes were abolished, the same NDC led by James Avedzi said that the NPP government should not abolish the taxes because we will not get enough revenue.
They even went to the extent of predicting that we will introduce a tax on mobile money etc. Today, these same advisors that were calling for more taxes on Ghanaians, are shouting that we have taxed Ghanaians overly. How does this work?
What economic module is that? Or is it a case of opposition for the sake of opposition, which has been described as folly? If after abolishing 17 taxes, Ghanaians are reeling under the heavy burden of taxation, then under NDC Ghanaians were being buried alive by taxes.
Ladies and gentlemen, the NDC appeared in their press statement to have a problem with the debt management strategies of this government. Friends of the media, any better debt management irrespective of the approach should ultimately lead you to a proper fiscal consolidation that achieves a reduced debt to GDP ratio while at the same time increasing growth. What was the level of increase of debt during the NDC? What was the debt to GDP ratio and what was the growth rate? What are the statistics for these indicators for the NPP?
The NDC inherited a total public debt of 8.9 billion from President Kuffour, increased it to 122.3 billion (an increase of about 114 billion cedis), increased our debt to gdp ratio from 32% to 73.1% and reduced our growth rate from 8.5% to 3.7%.
Conversely, the NPP has reduced the debt to gdp ratio from 73% to 57% and grown our economy from 3.7% to 8.1%. So you see, we have borrowed less, reduced our debt service burden and enhanced the economy more than the NDC.
Some of the things we have used the borrowed money for?
– Banking sector clean-up costs us 9.6 billion of the total debt we borrowed
– Eastern regional university
– Terminal 3Kumasi Airport phase II
– Accra sanitation project
– Design and construction of 84km rail way line from Tema to Akosombo
– Self Help rural electrification
– Various roads construction etc.
Financial Sector mess
After overseeing the execution of fraudulent and evil malpractices that was going to ensure that over 1.2 million Ghanaians were going to lose their life savings, they shamelessly are shouting from the rooftops that our attempts to correct the wrongs are leading to a reduction in the rate growth. They are unrepentant in their outlook. They have no remorse for the mess they so mercilessly created. How sinister can a political party be? You will recall that, in 2015, the Bank of Ghana did an Asset quality review which revealed the imminent closed down of a number of banks in this country due to deficiencies in corporate governance.
They now unscrupulously are seeking to say that this government is collapsing indigenous banks. Nothing can be further from the truth. What is clear is that the current leadership of the bank of Ghana is determined to help genuine local banks who follow the rules to survive. This is the only way we can build a strong and resilient banking sector that can support our agenda for growth and jobs.
Friends of the media, the argument by the NDC on exchange rate depreciation is dishonest. While we agree that the ultimate goal of every government is to see a stronger currency in the context of the exchange rate management, our performance far outweigh that of the NDC. How can the NDC that presided over 31% depreciation of the cedi during their tenure be blaming us for reducing the rate of the cedi depreciation from 31% to 7%.
Friend of the media, another lie they put out today is that, Dr Bawumia said all Ghanaians will get bank accounts in 2018. What he said was practically GHIPPS and financial institutions should practically make sure that most Ghanaians get bank accounts in 2018 since the chunk of monies in the system are in the homes and not with the banks as savings.