Focus on fixing the economy and not “break the 8” agenda — Dr. Sa-ad Iddrisu to Gov’t

10th August 2022

Dr. Sa-ad Iddrisu Economist, Louisiana State Government
Dr. Sa-ad Iddrisu Economist, Louisiana State Government

President Akufo-Addo in a radio interview with Nalerigu-based Nobya FM as part of his tour of the North East Region last Saturday (August 6,2022) is quoted to have said that ““Breaking the eight is very feasible. Many people forget that in 2008 when we lost, we nearly broke the eight if you look at the vote margin. Overall, we were short by 40,000 votes. That was a tiny margin so it tells you that if NPP puts things together, we can make history.”

I think we have to remind NPP and President Nana Addo to focus attention on restoring the economy back to life by breaking the forces of corruption and mismanagement that had bedeviled the government since the party assumed power. That is what is more important to the ordinary Ghanaian and not ‘break the 8’.

The mandate that was given to the President by the people of Ghana in election 2016 and 2020, didn’t come with breaking the 8. It was a mandate given to him to contribute meaningfully in making the lives of Ghanaians better and thus, the President seems to be shifting away from that mandate and must be reminded.

You cannot break the 8 in election 2024 given your abysmal performance as a government. Let me remind the President of some abysmal performances of his government if he hasn’t paid attention to them yet.

The poor performances witnessed in many sectors of the economy, have mostly been blamed on Covid-19 and Russia-Ukraine war by the government and NPP communicators. Yet, as at the month of June 2022, Ghana recorded an inflation rate of 29.8% according to Bloomberg, in comparison to Russia inflation rate of 14.5% and Ukraine of 21%. Surging bus and trotro fares in the country pushed inflation to 19-year high record of 29.8%. Therefore, a country that is not in war and blaming their current mismanagement on the two countries at war, is rather performing abysmally. A clear case Nana Addo’s government is to be blame and not Russia and Ukraine war.

The Agric Minister seems to have invested more money in erecting billboards across the country than he invested on the planting for food program. The rising food prices in the country even before the Russian-Ukraine war, is an indication that demand outweighs supply of these food stuffs. Therefore, the touted success of the planting for food program is questionable. The President needs to visit our various markets to ascertain the realities on the ground.

Data from Transparency International Corruption Index shows the poor performance by this government in the fight against corruption. The 2021 best score corruption index of 43, is the erstwhile President John Mahama’s worst score in 2016. The 2024 election will be base on comparison of corruption records as well.

Government flagship program, NABCO, has failed with the almost 100,000 youth in the program being jobless after September 2022. The government still owes over 6 months salary arrears of NABCO beneficiaries. The President needs to wake up from his slumber and know that his team is non-performing.

According to Bloomberg, the Ghana cedi is the worst performing currency in Africa as at August. The cedi recorded a 28.8% depression to the dollar as at August 8, 2022, selling at nearly GHC 9 to a dollar. This is an indication of worst economic performance that cannot break the 8.

*Credit Rating:*
Ghana’s credit rating has been downgraded to a junk status under his government. S&P global ratings of Ghana credit standing to a CCC+/C is the worst performance ever under any government. If this is an excellent performance in the eyes of the President, then someone needs to wake him up from his slumber. This poor rating is definitely an indication of worse economic performance which cannot break the 8.

*Reckless Borrowing:*
From the Bank of Ghana Monetary Policy Reports, total stock of Ghana’s public debts stood at GHC 344.6 billion as at November 2021 and GHC 127.3 billion as at November 2016. That is a dollar equivalent of $58.2 billion as at November 2021 and $30.1 billion as at November 2016, representing an increase in our public debt by 93.4% under this government. This points to the fact that President Nana Addo’s government had resources than previous governments. Yet very little infrastructural development to show for such borrowings. This is a case of mismanagement and poor performance which cannot break the 8.

All in all, with these unprecedented abysmal performances in many sectors of our economy, the President should be concerned on how to fix the economy and not be on a ‘campaign tour for break the 8.’ Ghanaians want solutions to our mismanaged economy and not another deceitful campaign messages and slogans of ‘break the 8.’ The government should swallow its pride and organize a national discussion on the economy and invite Ghanaian experts both home and abroad. “Two heads are better than one.”

Dr. Sa-ad Iddrisu
Economist, Louisiana State Government

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