I’m Sorry, You Can’t Teach Me Economics

September 13, 2021 By 0 Comments

President Akufo-Addo says he will not take economic lessons from former President John Mahama, considering his abysmal track record as head of government.

According to the President, Mr. Mahama was not on solid grounds to comment on the management of the economy.

Nana Addo said, “he (Mahama) is not on strong ground when he is talking about the economy. His track record, I am reluctant to use these strong words, but in normal parlance, I would say it is abysmal and, therefore, he has no lessons to give me at all in the management of the economy.

“I wonder what words should describe his (Mahama) stewardship of Ghana. It is an unmitigated disaster. That’s what I would call him. I wonder whether this statement was made tongue in cheek by the former president.

“When you look at the record that this political leader, who can accuse my government of mismanagement, there are a few facts that when you put on the table to compare his performance and mine, it would tell you that what I am offering people is economic mismanagement.”

President Akufo-Addo was responding to comments by former President Mahama that he should hold a forum on how to manage the economy, when he granted an interview to a radio station in the Volta Region, during his recent tour of the area.

The president argued that since John Mahama’s Senchi forum ended up at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), he has no justification in making similar suggestion to him.

President Akufo-Addo also observed that the nation experienced the lowest economic growth during the tenure of Mr. Mahama and the much-talked about economic forum he organised could not save the situation.

According to President Akufo-Addo, under the tenure of office of John Mahama, the economic growth rate in 2016 stood at 3.4%, the lowest in two decades, with all other macroeconomic indicators pointing in the wrong direction.

“Inflation, when he left office, was 15.4%; today, at the end of July, which are the last hard facts from the Statistical Service it’s 9%. Interest rates are always a good determinant of how the economy is operating. They were 32% in December 2016 and today it is 20.6%.

“We are talking about the Treasury Bill decline in interest rates, we are talking about the trade deficit that was $1.8 billion in 2016 to a trade surplus of $2.6 billion at the end of 2019,” the President said.

He stressed that if these statistics, which, prior to COVID-19, led to Ghana being one of the fastest growing economies in the world with a GDP of 7% “can be considered economic mismanagement,” then he wonders what would be the description of the economy managed by John Mahama, which took Ghana into the embrace of the IMF.

Responding again to comments on organising an economic forum, the President stressed that “if the economic forum is going to be a repetition of the so-called Senchi Consensus, then I think I have to spare the people of Ghana this sort of development.”

He continued, “The Senchi Consensus was an unmitigated disaster. Out of it we went into the embrace of the IMF with all the difficulties that came from there and the disarray it pointed to in the economy of our country.”

The President, thus, urged former President Mahama to be wary of commenting on economic management issues.