Vice president Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia dazzled at a maiden Town Hall Meeting of the Economic Management Team, as he jabbed the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) over the management of the Ghana cedi.
Admitting that the local currency had suffered a jolt in recent times against some major foreign currencies, Dr. Bawumia stressed it could have been worst under the National Democratic Congress.
He said the Akufo-Addo administration’s performance in terms of management of the cedi is far better than that of the NDC. According to him, the NPP’s worst performance in terms of the management of the depreciation of the cedi is far better than the best of the NDC.
“So our worst is better than your best and then you say boot-for-boot. This one is more like boot-for-chale wote,” Dr. Bawumia said in his presentation at the Ministry of Information’s 2019 TownHall Meeting with the Economic Management Team (EMT) of Government on Wednesday at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Accra.
Speaking under the theme for the meeting: “Our Progress, Our Status, Our Future,” the Vice President said “the data on the annual rate of depreciation of the cedi in recent years shows that the worst performance so far under the NPP’s government, the 8.4 percent depreciation that we saw in 2018, that worst performance is better than the best performance under the previous government between 2012 and 2016.”
Making a comparison between the erstwhile John Mahama’s administration and the President Akufo-Addo’s government, he recounted that in 2014, the exchange rate depreciated by 31.3 percent, fiscal deficit was 10.1 percent of GDP, public debt rose 70.2 percent of GDP, inflation rose to 17percent and GDP growth had declined from 7.3 percent to 4 percent.
He added that “in other words, the economic fundamentals had weakened significantly, and therefore the depreciation was easily explainable. It was not caused by dwarfs or high-rise building. The exchange rate in 2014 had exposed the weak economic fundamentals.”
All the fundamentals including current account compared, he said “you will see we were in a much weaker position in 2014 compared to 2018.”
According to the Vice President, at the end of December 2017, the cedi had cumulatively depreciated by 4.9 percent compared to 9.6 percent in 2016 and this was the cedi’s best performance since 2011.”
The start of 2019 has been characterized by another sudden sharp depreciation of the cedi which has been revised.
The cedi, however, depreciated by 8.4 percent in 2018 largely on account of the emerging market pressures and US interest rate increases.
Making reference to a comment he made about the economy in 2014 which the NDC has been playing propaganda with in recent months in the wake of the depreciation of the cedi, the Vice President, “Ladies and gentlemen, you will recall that I stated in 2014 that if the fundamentals are weak, the exchange rate will expose you. That was true then and it is true now. It is 100 percent correct.”
He added that “So if the fundamentals are weak, the exchange rate will expose,” adding that but if the exchange rate moves, you cannot jump to that conclusion that the fundamentals are weak; that defiles logic.”
Source: Daily Mail GH