Shamelessly, HON. ISAAC ADONGO is stepping into a landmine he ran away from when I challenged him to the fore of economic debate. The challenge remains evergreen. Matter of factly, the data demonstrates that economic management from 2012 to 2016 does not measure up to the sterling performance on the economic front in the past three years.
The economic dossier on the erstwhile administration is unassailably bad. Our economy was in the Intensive Care Unit of the Bretton woods IMF for life support, our social programmes were bleeding profusely to death and the entire economic climate was unbearable. FACTS ARE FACTS. Imagine living in the combined effect of the below defects in public administration. Such was the Ghana we abided in. Between 2012 and 2016, we had;
• Declining Economic growth;
• High Inflation rate
• High Interest rates
• High exchange rate depreciation
• High fiscal deficit
• Rapid accumulation of debt. 12-fold increase in debt
• Weak and collapsing financial system
• High Unemployment
• The NHIS was back to cash and carry.
• Emergency healthcare system was collapsing with
only 55 semi-functional ambulances in the country
• Four years of dumsor with its costs
• Average annual increase in electricity prices between
2010 and 2015 was 45%
• Increases in taxes on many items
• Freeze on public sector recruitment
• Cuts in research allowances for lecturers
• Abolition of teachers training allowances
• Abolition of nurses training allowances
• Teachers paid 3 months arrears after working for 2-3 years.
• High Import Duties
• Corrupt practices associated with the acquisition of
passports and drivers licenses.
• Problems renewing NHIS membership
• Cumbersome process to clear goods at the ports.
• Many parents could not afford school fees for their
children for SHS
• No national ID card
• No working nationwide address system
• Corrupt practices associated with manual court
• IMF program was resorted to restore policy credibility
with its attendant conditionalities.
After resuming the reins of governance, The Nana Addo/Bawumia leadership had to get on and start to fix these problems. The challenge was huge but we overcame
An economy that could not pay teacher and nursing training allowances suddenly as we speak today has delivered lower taxes, restored teacher and nursing training allowances, created jobs, implemented free senior high school education , NABCO, planting for food and jobs, one village one dam, one constituency one ambulance reduce electricity prices, formalize the economy, industrialize the economy, reduced the cost of doing business, etc. while at the same time reducing the budget deficit and the rate of borrowing.
It seemed an impossible task and ADONGO and his cohorts were emphatic that EMT could not clear their mess. But with good economic management and by the grace of God, the EMT made what seemed impossible possible.
By Abdallah Matin, Legon TESCON president