Vice President of the Republic and New Patriotic Party (NPP) 2024 flagbearer hopeful, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has called on all well-meaning Ghanaian to judge the two main political parties (NPP & NDC) by what they did while in office and not what they say when they are out in office.
Dr Bawumia made the called when he addressed as the special guest of honour, attendees of the NPP’s international women’s conference in the United Kingdom (UK) on Saturday 10 June 2023.
In his remarks, Dr Bawumia observed that “the Covid-19 pandemic which hit the entire globe in late 2019, wrecked havoc on all economies of the world from 2020 till date, affected global supply chains and the response put a burden on public finances”.
The war between Russia and Ukraine, the Vice President said “hit fertilizer and grain prices, among others, and increased the prices of commodities back home”.
“Inflation, exchange rate depreciation and debt levels globally hit a 40 year high as countries scrambled to cope with the impact on lives and livelihoods. In Ghana, inflation increased from 12.9% in December 2021 to 54% by December 2022 with an attendant depreciation of the Ghana cedi by 30% in 2022”.
“These crises (COVID and Russia-Ukraine) came at a time when we were yet to fully recover from some major challenges we inherited. In particular, we inherited excess energy capacity payments resulting from power purchase agreements entered into by the previous 4 government” Dr Bawumia said.
“I said last year, and the World Bank has also recently pointed out the reckless nature and the catastrophic implications of these contracts. Under these PPAs we have been required to pay some $1 billion annually for power we did not consume over the last six years.
“The combined effects of these phenomena blighted an economy that grew at an average rate of about 7% between 2017-2019. Our debt became unsustainable, and the government had to undertake a domestic debt restructuring and seek IMF support to stabilize our economy” the Vice President added.
These developments, Dr Bawumia said, “have been latched on by NPP’s political opponents [NDC] in an attempt to play down the achievements of [the NPP Akufo-Addo led] government in the last six years.
“There has been so much talk from politicians and commentators alike. It is said that Politicians have a habit of talking a lot, but they hardly talk about what they have done. It is better to judge politicians not by what they say but by what they have done to solve our problems when given the opportunity to serve” Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia said.
The Vice President in his remarks, identified some major problems the Akufo-Addo government inherited such as High unemployment, Dumsor for 4 years, a virtually collapsed national health insurance system, a nearly collapsed national ambulance system, freeze on public sector employment, an almost collapsed banking sector, massive annual increases in utility bills, high depreciation of the cedi, poor road infrastructure, persistent negative trade balance over three decades, among others.
Dr Bawumia went on to list over one hundred (100) interventions that the Akufo-Addo administration has introduced the last six and half years to deal with the myriad challenges it inherited from the Mahama administration.
“When you look at this tall list of achievements, one cannot but admit that they are monumental! Let nobody tell you that we don’t have a message for 2024!
“I must hasten to add that this does not mean we have done everything we intended to do or ought to have done. There is clearly a lot more to do and we will work hard to do more” the Vice President said.
“As Vice President, I have had the honour and privilege, thanks to the President, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to be given the opportunity to initiate and or oversee the implementation of many of these problem-solving policy initiatives” he added.
Message of Possibility
The Vice President in his statement brought to bear his message of possibility which has characterised his speeches in recent time. He indicated that the NPP as a party and as a government is “dealing politically with people [Opposition NDC] with shackled mindsets who always think in terms of things being impossible to do.
“When you try to move the country forward with new ideas, they mask their ignorance by mocking you, ridiculing you and calling you a liar. But in the process, they only expose their lack of understanding of the issues.
“My response to them is to stay focused, not get angry but rather make it happen! That is the best victory you can have over the naysayers! Make what they think is impossible possible! What we have been able to accomplish so far shows that it is possible for Ghana to achieve many things that some believe to be impossible” Dr Bawumia said.
“With what we have done and continue doing in the wake of the global challenges, the outcome, thus far, points to an auspicious future” Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia added.
“It is possible for Ghana to become an advanced and advanced modern nation based on systems and data. Data and technology are the new engines of growth.
“It is possible for Ghana to have food security through application of technology to commercial farming. It is possible for Ghana to be the hub for and lead Africa in digitalization and innovation with over 90% internet penetration”.
It is possible to maximize the benefits from our natural resources like gold and lithium. It is possible for Ghana to become an industrialized nation. It is possible to create more jobs for the youth to reduce unemployment”.
“It is possible to empower the local business sector, including startups and SMEs to drive investment and growth in Ghana. It is possible to sustainably stabilize the macroeconomy, have low interest rates and reduce the cost of living”.
“It is possible to have accessible energy security with renewables. It is possible to eliminate or minimize corruption in the public sector. It is possible to have a golden age of investment in the creative arts, tourism and sports.
“It is possible to build an inclusive education system for with a focus on STEM, AI, Robotics and skills development” the Vice President pointed out in his address.