The Minority Leader of Parliament and Member for Tamale South constituency, Hon. Haruna Iddrisu, has advised the President and the current management team of the country to be interested in the non-oil growth of the country, and stop touting achievements made on the back of oil.
Speaking on the Floor of the House to mark the end of debate on the President’s State of the Nation address (SONA), for the adoption and approval of the motion of thanking the President for calling on the House to perform the constitutional duty, the Minority Leader indicated that, the President should stop congratulating himself and his government for achieving growth rate of 7.9% from the 3.6% inherited.
Stating that, it is the growth of the economy outside oil consideration that is important, and that is actually a true reflection of the performance of the country in terms of real growth.
He asserted that, in 2011, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government achieved double digit economic growth rate, to the tune of close to 15%; asking where did that take them to?
Saying, it is the consistency and sustainability that matters most.
According to the Minority Leader, the admission by the President of the fact that government owes contractors is a confirmation that the economy is not as healthy as is being touted.
He warned that under the current trade Minister, he can confidently say that government is at the center of the crisis being faced by private sector growth development, and this is so because of the posture and approach of the government to the private sector; saying that in Ghana currently, contractors are in a cue for payment of work done as far back as 2013, a case that need to be looked at and corrected.
Hon. Haruna Iddrisu also indicated that, the ex-NDC government increased the road fund from 7 pesewas to 40 pesewas and went further to guarantee a loan that the current government is negotiating with the commercial bank in order to solve problems faced with the private sector in the regard above stated, and government must review the road fund levy regime and adjust it to cater for the backlog of arrears.
“There is complete lack of confidence in our democratic governance of the country and immense hardship in the living standards of the people currently, and the President himself depicted that lack of confidence when in the delivery of his SONA, he depended on September 2017 figures instead of yearend figures”. He acknowledged.
The Minority Leader also wondered why the Ghana Statistical Service is yet to present the year end national figures, adding “what is the Ghana Statistical Service doing? As of today we do not have the national figures”, as to what the overall year-end GDP will be, for analysis, maybe in terms of GDP as a percentage of total government revenue, debt as a percentage of GDP and the way government is managing the economy.
As a country, he said, we must have official figures on which we can rely, and get them right especially in order to predict the performance of the economy going forward.
He reiterated that, the government is in the second year of reign, and nothing has been heard of most of its flagship programs, especially the one district one factory (1D1F) and the other programs, adding that “they must be telling Ghanaians why the private sector themselves are not interested in those projects, whether it is non-availability of raw materials or any other reason”.
He further entreated that President to recognize that, he inherited very strong institutions from the NDC government and should ensure that they work and stop the numerous promises which do not translate to economic wellbeing in the lives of Ghanaians.
Story: Frederick E. Aggrey