By Kwame Atuapim
The founder and leader of the All People’s Congress (APC), Mr. Hassan Ayariga, has stated that President Akufo-Addo has woefully failed Ghanaians who voted for him to become President. Speaking in a press conference, the APC sole leader said, “Ghanaians did not vote for the (New Patriotic Party) NPP to compare themselves with the (National Democratic Congress) NDC.
“You have failed us. President Nana Addo you have failed Ghanaians woefully! You’ve lost the trust of the young and old, nothing can resurrect that.”
He recalled that during the 2016 campaign, Dr. Bawumia was portrayed as an economic messiah but now he’s seen as a mere NPP communicator.
“In any case Dr. Bawumia, if the fundamentals are strong do you need a town hall meeting to make your case? Your good works should speak for itself but we’re seeing otherwise. Never in the history of our country has a Vice President ever been this incompetent, deceitful, talkative, dishonest, inconsistent and living in the past like this before. Our challenges are really frightening.”
The full text of Mr. Ayariga’s press statement is reproduced below;
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, members of the APC, friends of Dr. Hassan Ayariga, fellow citizens, good morning. You are welcome to yet again another press conference which seeks to address pertinent issues of our dear country vis a vis the economy of Ghana.
Dr. Bawumia and the NPP Economic Management Team town hall meeting and matters arising.
Ladies and gentlemen, just a week ago, Ghana witnessed what can be described as the most dishonest economic presentation ever from the NPP’s current economic management team led by H. E. Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia. I believe most of you media men and women here had the opportunity of covering it. Many citizens have reacted negatively and I am not afraid as a concerned patriotic citizen to express my displeasure on the Town hall lectures on the economy by the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana.
My understanding of the town hall lectures on the economy is once again a manifestation of the blame game between the two major political parties of our country. Indeed the Ghanaian citizenry are tired of the blame game and want simple workable solutions to their economic, social and political problems. Ghanaians are asking for very ordinary things – to be able to pay their rents, send their children to good schools, access basic utilities, pay their bills and be happy.
They only seek to be lifted out of poverty and be liberated from the decades of economic hardship, hopelessness, unemployment, high cost of living, institutional collapse and the chronic micro and macro volatilities which has broken the moral Fiber of our economic pride as a people, and not the theatricals that I see played out between the two political parties that have perfected the abuse of the trust people place in them.
The NPP sought to justify their below average performance on their predecessor NDC Government and their management of the economy before they assumed power. Dr. Bawumia at the lecture sought to justify the unjustifiable. The lecture lacked intellectual credibility and defied the concept of consistency, as the leader of the economic management team. He sought to claw back on key economic principles as he had thought Ghanaians to know it
It was a white elephant presentation to mitigate the overwhelming pressure exerted on leadership to respond to why the free fall of the cedi has gotten out of control.
Our importers and businessmen are struggling because of the free fall of our local currency and our Vice President is saying all is well because his economic management team has performed better than the NDC? I can understand Dr. Bawumia and the NPP, yes this is your best, but not the best for Ghana, your best is the worse for Ghanaians. The Cedi is not only suffering from the Dollar but KAPUT as compared to the Pounds sterling.
Ghanaians have now witnessed the impact of “Boot and Chalewote”, they are tired of walking. Now they are looking for the APC’ S jet to fly them to economic freedom and transformation.
Ghanaians did not vote for the NPP to compare themselves with the NDC. You have failed us. President Nana Addo you have failed Ghanaians woefully! You’ve lost the trust of the young and old, nothing can resurrect that. In 2016 campaign, Dr. Bawumia was seen as an economic messiah but now he’s seen as a mere NPP communicator. In any case Dr. Bawumia, if the fundamentals are strong do you need a town hall meeting to make your case? Your good works should speak for itself but we’re seeing otherwise. Never in the history of our country has a Vice President ever been this incompetent, deceitful, talkative, dishonest, inconsistent and living in the past like this before. Our challenges are really frightening.
We were being told by this same Dr. Bawumia during the NPP’s celebration of its first 100 days in office that the dollar has been arrested and the keys handed over to the IGP. I’m sure he knows now the Cedi is on bail, the reason for his needless town hall meeting. Where are the answers to the one hundred and seventy (170) so-called economic questions on Ghana’s economy?
“If your fundamentals are weak, the exchange rate would expose you” were the favourite words of our Vice President then, now he says our cedi depreciation is no longer a case of weak fundamentals but external shocks? La ilaha illallah Dr. Bawumia, you killed a snake, skinned it and now you are asking us where it’s leg are? Oh my God.
Our economy is undoubtedly in shambles, it being handled by clueless hands who prefer talking about the walk, to walking the talk, the earlier we admit it and come together with ideas to solve our economic problems, the better for us.
Ghana’s economic fundamentals are very weak, and Let me take you through some of the weak Fundamentals we in the APC found under President Nana Akufo Addo’s Government;
- Unprecedented level of corruption
- Insecurity and lawlessness
- High unemployment rate
- Domsor every now and then
- A widened gab between the Rich and Poor
- The broken link between Government and the people
- High cost of living
- The family and Friends Government
- The abuse of power by government officials
- The high cost of electricity and its privatization to cronies
- The sale of Government properties to foreigners and families
- The low standards of living
- The weak educational structures
- The high cost of fuel
- The deficit in manufacturing
- The huge deficit in industry
- The unrepentant reckless borrowing of government
- The size of the elephant Government
- Public workers arrears
- Low income
- Poor Infrastructure
- The increased number of children involved in Kayayo on the streets of the capital.
- Collapsed Businesses.
- Wastage of Government resources
- Indiscriminate Sufferings and hardship.
- More import than export
These are some of the factors that make our economy suffer weak fundamentals.
The economic indicators recently touted by Bawumia at the town hall meeting attempting to hail our economy are absolutely gibberish. When your economy is well managed you don’t have to tell anyone, the living conditions of the people will speak well for you. Positive economic indicators are meaningless unless it translates into the lives of the people. The figures will always lie, but the Hardship and Suffering of the People will equally expose you.
The best economies of the world in terms of ranking by the world bank is USA, China, Japan etc. It beholds on us to benchmark our economic performance to their standards of economic performance methodology. In fact the overall conclusion of their report is to add consumer survey response to ascertain the merits or demerits of their economic performance.
The GDP performance of an economy is anchored on the performance and well being of the people but if the People’s views and opinion are not sought by way of survey then we can conclusively say any economic performance reportage lacks credibility and fairness with standard practice.
This requires the Vice President to revise his notes by incorporating the consumer survey report which is being done across the world. The currency volatility without iota of doubt still means the fundamentals are weak. The best economic performance measurement indicators aside the GDP, CPI, interest rates, Reserves of the economy, unemployment etc requires that the consumer survey response must be added to consolidate the presentation.
Most of such surveys are done mostly by sampling the views of the people within the economy by an independent professional institution. Is just to ascertain the well-being of the people in relation to the economic performance indicators, period! Once the presentation lacks such holistic standard presentation then the obvious is that it was a form rather than a substance presentation both in relation to 2012 to 2014 up to 2017 and 2018. It means the citizens living standards opinion has been marginalized in terms of their opinion on the management of the economy in relation to their standard of living.
Rising Cost of Living
It is extremely expensive to live in Ghana now than ever. There have been astronomical increments of prices of goods and services in our markets. This is what Bawumia must know because not too long ago, he was visiting Mallam Atta market surveying prices of tomatoes and onion to calculate his inflation. If he cares and goes back to the market he will see for himself that things are worse now than before.
Ordinary Ghanaians are unable to secure for themselves 3 square meals a day, the cost of transport is increasingly becoming worrisome these days, prices of petroleum products are in a comfortable lead, resulting in a very low standard of living. Ladies and gentlemen, you may need to visit the fuel pump to understand what I’m talking about, better yet, try filling your gas cylinder and see how expensive it is these days. The cost of filling a cylinder these days has doubled.
Cost of renting a room is too high these days, our business brothers and sisters in real estate development are going through hell due to the recent increments in the prices of cement and building materials. If one is fortunate to mobilise resources to put up a building, one huge challenge for you will be the high unexpected cost of building materials. The situation is worrying. This is what President Nana Addo must know because it is what matters most.
Fellow citizens, within two years three months, the Nana Addo’s government has borrowed more than any government in the history of Ghana since independence. Nana Addo has borrowed over GH 70 billion with little or nothing to show as evidence of his borrowing. One thing this government lack is credibility. Nana Addo, whilst in opposition told us that he would not borrow to develop Ghana because it is incompetent to borrow, he told us we are sitting on money and still suffering because of bad leadership, and that we should vote him to end the era of reckless borrowing. To this effect, Ghanaians chose his NPP over my party, the APC.
Today what are we seeing? Horrible things, suffering, wanton borrowing and crying. There is absolutely nothing to show for the huge amounts borrowed. The painful thing about this whole borrowing is that, future generations will have to suffer to pay for it. Almost all our mineral resources have been used to collateralized the loans we’ve borrowed. Ghanaians don’t own Ghana any more, foreigners do, we are only occupying the land we don’t own, our land has been used as collateral to secure Chinese loans etc.
Is debt the kind of legacy the NPP government is leaving behind for the next generation? This is so shameful. Previous governments have always borrowed but they equally always have something to show for it. We can give credit to Dr. Kwame Nkrumah for Akosombo dam, Jerry Rawlings for UDS, electricity in rural areas to show as evidence of his borrowing, John Agyekum Kuffour for HIPC, KVIPs and basic schools to show, several kilometres of roads were equally constructed under his tenure, Mills and Mahama for Circle interchange, Kasoa interchange, Ridge Hospital, Kotoka Airport Terminal 3, Legon Teaching Hospital among others to show.
Now what has Nana Addo’s government got to show for borrowing more than his predecessors? I will say and you will certainly agree with me that there’s absolutely nothing to show for his reckless borrowing. Government has borrowed to consume. One worrying thing about the borrowing of this government is that our state properties are used as collateral.
Franklin Templeton very soon can destabilize our economy with just a twist of his fingers because Ghana owe him and by maturity we shall be owing him in excess of $8billion. Can we be safe with these possibilities? Again, no government in this world can do better by borrowing, no government! Going forward government must learn how to generate money internally to finance its budget and operations. We are still borrowing to pay salaries, we need to downsize our wage bill, starting from the size of government. No government can borrow to be rich. Borrowers and beggars never become financially independence. Remember that Mr. President
Corruption at its peak
Ladies and gentlemen, power they say is sweet and my friends in government have demonstrated that, the NPP has milked Ghana to the extent that certain individuals of the ruling government are now richer than the country.
The most recent figures from an anti-corruption agency, Transparency International indicated that we have dropped some 5 points and now at 81. Ghana is now rated the 8th destination of doing business in the sub-region as compared to 4th, two years ago.
Since NPP took over power 2 years ago, Ghana has recorded unprecedented number of corruption scandals. So far it has been a “one month-one-corruption scandal” we are experiencing. This government is undoubtedly corrupt. All the President does is to defend his appointees when they are exposed.
Agriculture and industrialization
My brothers and sisters, Ghana has the land size, but we are unfortunately not making good use of our large land size. We still haven’t seen the need to embark on extensive mechanized farming. Our farmers are still overly reliant on natural rain for their farming activities. The best for our economy is agriculture, it is the bane of development of developing countries, even developed countries still find the need to invest heavily in Agriculture. We are not supporting and encouraging our farmers enough. Until we find it prudent to reward and honour our farmers and stop worshipping our politicians in V8 vehicles, we will continue to be in trouble.
In the 21st century, Ghanaians still important tomatoes, carrots, cabbage and other vegetables from foreign countries. The restaurants and shopping malls are all importing beef, chicken, fish, lobsters, shrimp, milk, mushrooms and other products for their businesses. And we have a Government that believe in unprecedented lies and want us to believe they can arrest the Cedi, you cannot have an open market and believe in stabilizing the Cedi.
Government have successfully abandoned major factories that can generate over 2million jobs and contribute over $3 billion dollars revenue to rot. We import over $100 million dollars of Can Tomato, ketchup and fresh Tomato for local consumption, yet the Pwalugu Tomato Factory and the Wenchi Tomato Factory is dormant. We import over $ 1.2billion dollars of Rice yearly for local consumption, meanwhile we have abandoned the Bolgatanga Rice mills and the Aveyme Rice Factory to rot. We spend over $300 million dollars in the importation of sugar into this country annually, while we allow Komenda sugar factory to rust, am told government is now selling it out to foreign investors. Over 70 percent of fish we consume is imported meanwhile we have the sea right before of us. We have the lakes and rivers before us, yet, what do we still do? We still Import. Currently we spend over $700 million dollars on the importation of baby pampers, meanwhile we have abandoned the cotton factory in the northern part of Ghana.
Ladies and gentlemen, you know what saddens me, a day before valentine day I went to the florist to order for red Roses for my wife, I was told to wait for KLM flight to arrive before I can get it, even Red Roses we have to import. Please what is wrong with us. Can someone tell me please. What at all can we produce in this country, and these same politicians wants us to believe they can stabilize the cedi Against the major currencies. You cannot behave in this manner and expect your fundamentals to be strong.
We import almost everything we consume in Ghana. Until we cultivate rice to meet local consumption demands, raise more poultry birds to meet local consumption demands, manufacture our own tomato paste and extract cooking oil here in Ghana, then we must stop complaining about cedi depreciation. We need to export more, whilst at it, let us add value to the products we export, we need to farm more exportable products. When we can export more than we import, when we eat what we produce and consume what we produce then our currency will be stabilized.
The NPP is making governance look as if it is only about telling lies to citizens. Their PR is so deceitful so much so that:
- Even as your lights are off, they condition you to think they have given you light.
- Even as they borrow to consume, they would tell you to think that they are investing in your future.
- Even as they borrow than any other government, they would tell you to think that they are reducing your debt stock.
- Even as the dollar defeats the Cedi in record never seen before, they make you think they are doing better than any other government when this exchange rate has never been seen before.
- Even as they abandon previous capital projects that would pay for themselves, they make you think they are doing so in your interest and in the alternative, you require a cathedral to resolve your national issues.
- Even as they are selling a gallon of fuel from 14GHC which was bad, now at 24GHC you should understand that they are doing you a favour because they could have sold it higher than it is selling now.
- Even as prices of goods and services increase, they make you think that it’s not as a result of the cost of import which they can actually do something about, but only based on external factors which we need not complain about.
- Even as they are performing abysmally, you must think that they exceed any other government in their records when in truth, there is no hen coop they started construction and finished.
- Even as they borrow at rates higher than any other government, you must praise them for getting their bonds oversubscribed when in actual fact, every lender would chase higher interest than a borrower.
You just need to understand these concepts of the inept President Nana Addo’s government
The Culture of Silence
Ghanaians in 2016 went to the polls as it is enshrined in our constitution. Majority voted for a change of government. A change many people anticipated based on the promises, a change that was promised heaven on earth. That change was supposed to make everyone else continue to live happily and fearless.
The NPP party in opposition under Nana Addo the current president campaigned on various promises to change the Ghanaian people and the country at large. Today the story has changed and the reverse is happening. Ghanaians are now subjected to suffering, crying, assaults, Kidnappings, terrorizing, political insecurity, shooting, corruption, vandalizing and beating. The APC finds it very difficult to believe in what Ghanaians have been subjected to.
Today, various stakeholders, institutions, opinion leaders, Christians and Muslims brotherhood have become silent about the current happenings in Ghana. The media and the international organizations are also mute about the current difficulties and various acts of violence in Ghana. Ghanaians have now witnessed serious hardship and sufferings. The saddest of all is that, The NPP see nothing wrong with the current happenings and always run to defend any wrong doings.
The NPP administration led by President Nana Addo have succeeded in terrorizing Ghanaians with their Militias from Delta Forces, invisible forces and now Section of National Security institutions into fear and feeling unsafe. One thing is very clear now. President Nana Addo has brought Back the era of CULTURE OF SILENCE. WHY?
Ghanaians are scared to voice out their pledge and pains. Everyone is afraid to speak out and the country is now supervised by hoodlums and militias of the ruling government. We have very bad educational shifts system and the academia dare not speak. The educational structures are all collapsed, no head teacher, head master or professor wants to speak out because they will lose their jobs.
The health sector is a disaster, newly constructed hospital are abandoned, no beds in existing government hospitals, no paramedics, delay of salaries, nursing trainees are suffering, doctors have no access to supplements, wards are deteriorating, inadequate medical officers, high patients-doctor ratio, no Ambulances and inadequate health Centre’s. etc and all health sector workers are mute.
All the sectors of the economy are suffering from the Culture of Silence. The military, the police, government workers, Contractors, Abosika spare parts dealers, the prisons, fire service, immigration, Ceps, wide Section of the public are also Silent.
Despite Ghana been touted as the beacon of democracy, our freedom is under serious attack, and we dare not speak. Mr. President we are now Spectators and not Citizens. Our motto “Freedom and Justice” is now under threat. We are in Crisis. God Save GHANA.
One thing I have noticed is the continuous silence of the media. My brothers and sisters from the media fraternity why are you so quite as if nothing is at stake? Speak out! Lets stand up and defend our country, lets name and shame the abusers of power. When we remain mute, we will soon die in silence believing we have lived when we have not. Politics is about serving not assaults on innocent citizens. There is only hardship in Ghana and suffering. Everyone know there is hardships but they cannot voice out. They are all scared of this government. Ghanaians are now living in fear and panic. WHY?
The media have decided to always pick and choose which political leaders and parties they want to discuss their matters, so many years when we do press conference, even when we bring in vital issues concerning the nation. you still discuss the gibberish of NPP and NDC. Go back and Sample all The APC’S press conferences and you will understand that, all that we have said about this current NPP Government led by President Akufo Addo and issues relating to the country has come to pass. Search for videos and press conferences of Dr. Hassan Ayariga and you will give me back my words.
Finally, ladies and gentlemen. Ghana belongs to Ghanaians, let us stand for our right and make one decision that will change the future of this country. We have tried the “Boot and the Chalewote”, and we are still struggling and suffering. We need to change and stop walking. We are tired of walking with the “Boot and Chalewote”. When your Boot and Chalewote become worn out, you must change. We need to change and we are asking you to give APC and Dr Hassan Ayariga the mandate to change Ghana. If you are afraid of change then you can never see a NEW GHANA. The way forward is CHANGE!!
Thank you for coming and God bless Ghana
Dr. Hassan Ayariga