Vice President Mahamadu Bawumia’s so-called smart borrowing economics prowess has been rubbished by the Special Prosecutor’s damning report on the Analysis of the Risk of Corruption and Anti-Corruption Risk Assessment on the humiliating Agyapa Mineral Royalties deal cooked by the NPP government earlier this year, which has since been sprawling under public scrutiny.
Since this Agyapa brouhaha, the Vice President notably remained silent about the deal even though he touted himself as the economics guru who leads the government’s loans and economic policies. It stands to reason therefore that the Vice President should have been the one leading the defence of the Agyapa deal especially when the public rose against it. Rather it was the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta who turned into the special public relations officer who managed communications about the deal.
Dr. Bawumia is known to be vociferous and assertive in these matters but surprisingly he chose to remain silent on Agyapa and has clearly not shown any intention of speaking on the matter even as his boss was forced by the damning report to send it back to Parliament for ‘consensus’. In the light of this, several questions have been lingering on the minds of Ghanaians concerning the Vice President’s status in the scheme of affairs in these final days when he is needed badly to salvage their damaged fortunes before December.
One will be wondering whether Bawumia proffered his smart borrowing expertise to the Cabinet when Agyapa was put together and whether it was accepted. The answer can be gleaned from the current circumstances. It is likely that he did offer some smart economic advice to the “Akim sakawa”-dominated cabinet who ignore him. Such side-lining of the fallen economic hero, Bawumia, might have angered him to adopt a silent stance on the ravaging Agyapa fraud just as was the case with the PDS scandal, where he was nowhere to be found.
Following his ludicrous claims about arresting the cedi from running and handing over the keys to the IGP at a town hall meeting at the Law Courts Complex in April 2017, after which the cedi continued to fall freely, the government became too desperate to leave its destiny in the hands of a discredited Bawumia. The desperation is so extensive that a committee has had to be set up to look into the cedi’s fall without the ‘Head of the Economic Management Team (EMT)’. Many are convinced that he is not even allowed to chair EMT meetings these days.
It is also being speculated in many quarters that the Vice President is no longer relevant in other economic matters especially when family deals such as PDS and Agyapa were considered. His economic prowess has been rubbished and treated as useless thrash. Many discussions about deals take place without his knowledge nor input according to sources. Apart from the PDS and Agyapa deals, it is being rumoured that the dubious Kroll and Associates deal spearheaded by the Senior Minister did not even come to his desk until the matter entered the public domain.
While Bawumia credits himself as the champion of paperless port systems, the “mafi” a at the presidency is said to have other ideas. They have seemingly engaged moves to undermine him which led to the UNIPASS being brought again by the Senior Minister which implementation caused a lot of disruptions at the port at its inception and a bitter divorce with GCNET and West Blue. To avert public backlash against the new system for failing the competency test, the government cunningly changed the UNIPASS name to Integrated Customs Management Systems (ICUMS). This dodgy deal according to some sources will cost the state $93 million if it is prematurely terminated.
At this juncture, the Akufo-Addo administration is fighting to salvage its dented reputation before the Ghanaian people pass their inevitable verdict on the New Patriotic Party in December. The “sakawa men” have had their way even though they would have loved to continue in power to commit more fraud to enrich themselves. Bawumia may once again become relevant in the event that the desperate measures being taken could not pull the NPP out of the imminent defeat dungeon they threw themselves in.
By Steve Gyamfi