Comparing COVID-19 pandemic to power crisis inhumane – NDC MP replies Bawumia

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Cassiel Ato Forson
Cassiel Ato Forson

The National Democratic Congress MP for Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam, Cassiel Ato Forson, is the latest to take on Ghana’s Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia for comparing the coronavirus pandemic to the country’s power crisis also known locally as ‘dumsor’.

Interacting with the media after chairing a coronavirus meeting at the Jubilee House Monday, Dr Bawumia hit back at former President John Dramani Mahama, over recent comments that the current administration’s discontinuation of projects he started, has badly affected Ghana’s COVID-19 fight.

Dr. Bawumia said President Akufo-Addo has demonstrated leadership and competence amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, better than the former president who failed to properly manage the ‘dumsor’ situation during his time.

But the former Deputy Minister of Finance under the Mahama administration finds the comparison unfortunate.

In a response to Dr Bawumia the former Deputy Finance Minister said “comparing a pandemic to an energy crisis that occurred because the NPP Government failed to invest in power generation over an eight year period only reflects the confusion that has characterized the Vice President’s recent pronouncements.”

“In any case, it is inhumane to compare a pandemic killing human beings to an electricity generation problem that was resolved by the same government,” he added.

Read the full statement below

Mr. Vice President:

We suffered dumsor in Ghana between 2005 to 2008 when you were a Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana and a member of the Economic management team. Can you remind Ghanaians about any stimulus package you provided to mitigate the plight of Ghanaians?

Comparing a pandemic to an energy crisis that occured because the NPP Government failed to invest in power generation over an 8year period only reflects the confusion that has characterized the Vice President’s recent pronouncements. 

In any case, it is inhumane to compare a pandemic killing human beings to an electricity generation problem that was resolved by the same government.

It is time to caution Dr. Bawumia not to be proud of cosmetic macro-economic data that fails to translate into economic well-being. 

Today, Ghana’s public debt has increased from GHS 120.3 billion as at 31st December 2016 to GHS 235 Billion as at 31st March 2020.

Your government is struggling to service interest on public debt; as a result lenders have started charging penalties on delayed interest payments.

Sadly, our debt levels are so high that we risk becoming a high debt distress country yet you have failed to show humility and competence in fixing your mess.

Now, on the rant about data, Available data points to your monumental failure to keep your word to the Ghanaian people. 

Here are a few reasons why: 

1) When is Dr. Bawumia going to make available the $18 billion Chinese loan he promised us?

2) When is he going to draw down on the $2 billion sinohydro loan?

3) What happened to “No village in Ghana will have a challenge with toilet and water provision within 2 years of an NPP Government?”

4) How about your promise that “Every Ghanaian will have a bank account by end of 2018. 

5).Cedi arrested and the keys given to the IGP? yet you have failed to check the free fall of the cedi. 

6) The promise of providing the necessary incentives for private sector participation in health service delivery remains a mirage. What happened to it? 

8) Implementing policies that will reduce the cost of doing business has been a hoax.

9) The pledge to provide a reliable and cost effective mix of energy supply for businesses has probably been long forgotten. 

10) Pursuing aggressive industrialization and value addition to agricultural produce has not seen the light of day.

11) The much touted allocation of US$1 million annually per constituency has become a bitter fallacy. 

12) The promise to develop interconnected roads, railways, ports and harbor (RRHPs) system remains a pipe dream.

13) The Water For All Programme has become another deception. 

14) Dr. Bawumia’s promise to construct 570 dams in 2017 adds to his tall list of empty rhetoric. 

15) Reducing the corporate tax rate from 25% to 20% has still not materialized. 

16) The pledge to provide incentives for the hospitality and creative arts industry that will enable them create jobs has been another fiasco.

17) The promise to build hospitals in districts that lack them was totally forgotten until COVID-19 exposed the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia administration. 

The litany of broken promises and outright deception is endless. I can go on and on.

Sir, pay attention to the data contained in the NPP 2016 manifesto and numerous promises you made in the recent past and deliver on them for that is the social contract the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government has with the people.

Cassiel Ato Forson (MP)

Ranking Member 

Finance Committee of Parliament

By Jonathan Ofori, Daily Mail GH

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