“Seven years of reckless mismanagement of the economy has rendered our people broken” – Mahama

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According to former president John Mahama, the Akufo-Addo administration has engaged in “seven years of corruption, waste, arrogance, nepotism, abuse of office, human rights violations, and economic mismanagement.”

At the party’s European Chapters Conference last weekend in Amsterdam, Holland, Mr. Mahama said, “Seven years of reckless mismanagement of the economy has rendered our people broken and struggling to survive from one day to the next.”

Our task is therefore cut out for us, he said, adding that we must hit the ground running and persuade Ghanaians that we are capable of leading in addition to having a better track record than the NPP.
Mr. Mahama noted that the Ghanaian economy “is currently classified among the worst managed in the world. We presently share a basket with countries like Sri Lanka.

“Ghana, our beloved country? Nkrumah’s Ghana?” he wondered.

“Inflation is at record highs – impacting the prices of essential goods and services and escalating an already severe cost of living crisis. Our currency, the Ghana Cedi, has suffered one of its steepest declines in decades. This has earned the Cedi the depressing accolade, at one point, as the worst-performing currency in the world”.

“Businesses are stressed and being pushed to the brink, with quite a number left with no choice but to fold up or relocate to neighbouring countries. The Bank of Ghana has exacerbated the problem. It has blatantly breached its financial threshold, printing over 40 billion Ghana cedis to finance the government’s budget deficit”,Mahama stated.

“It is, therefore, our duty to rededicate ourselves to work with absolute commitment in our branches to secure the maximum votes to guarantee an emphatic victory in 2024. I want to repeat that we must go to the polls on December 07, 2024, with our referee. That referee will be our DILIGENCE, PREPAREDNESS and WINNING the election EMPHATICALLY” Mahama stated.

“Our 2020 election comeback, raising the number of our seats from 106 to 137 and increasing our votes by almost 1.4 million, resulted from the dedication and hard work of all of us and the support of the people of Ghana” he added.

“In the last two years, we have suffered downgrade after downgrade to junk status by all the international credit rating agencies, and we have finally defaulted on our domestic and external debt repayment. The unilateral, insensitive debt restructuring programme has seen over GHS 80 billion lent by millions of Ghanaians to the government by purchasing bonds expropriated” Mahama said.

According to him this, “has caused severe dislocation in the livelihoods of many pensioners and middle-class Ghanaian families. It has led to a depressing sight of aged pensioners picketing at the Ministry of Finance to demand their money. Local businesses, especially contractors and other government service providers are owed tens of billions of Ghana cedis, whose value continues to dwindle following the government’s inability or unwillingness to pay”.

Read Mr Mahama’s full speech below:

General Secretary Fifi Kwetey,
Director of International Relations Alex Segbefia,
Chairpersons of our various NDC EU Chapters, Comrades,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Good afternoon.

Let me first thank you all, both the Chapter and Branch executives and members from our various EU countries, for making the sacrifice and time to gather here in Amsterdam for three days to discuss the future of our party, the NDC, and how we can contribute towards an emphatic victory in December 2024.
You have rescheduled this conference twice because of other competing events, including the just-ended May 13 Presidential Primaries. I appreciate your patience with me, especially because of your determination that I must be personally present with you.

We were close to rescheduling this session once more because of the impending Assin North by-election. But it is good we decided to come and push ahead with this event, as this is also a significant gathering for strategising towards victory in the polls of 2024.

Comrades, I bring you greetings from your compatriots in Ghana, whom I had the privilege, yet again, to visit and interact with across all 276 constituencies during the primaries.

That exercise has contributed to re-invigorating our executives and members at the grassroots. It allowed us to take our message to them and the people in their constituencies, reminding them that the National Democratic Congress remains the political party to trust when it comes to the total development and welfare of the citizens of Ghana.

It is, therefore, our duty to rededicate ourselves to work with absolute commitment in our branches to secure the maximum votes to guarantee an emphatic victory in 2024. I want to repeat that we must go to the polls on December 07, 2024, with our referee. That referee will be our DILIGENCE, PREPAREDNESS and WINNING the election EMPHATICALLY.

Our 2020 election comeback, raising the number of our seats from 106 to 137 and increasing our votes by almost 1.4 million, resulted from the dedication and hard work of all of us and the support of the people of Ghana.

Ghanaians have seen the difference and believe in our message, which in 2020 was conveyed in our People’s Manifesto.

Comrades, we did not become the majority party in parliament. We were also not declared winners of the 2020 presidential elections because we left some loose ends untied in a bizarre election amidst the COVID restrictions and the economic meltdown. That is why in 2024, our win must be emphatic.

As leader and flagbearer, I offer my firm PLEDGE and assurance. I will work with the party’s leadership, represented here by the General Secretary, to build a formidable team and deploy strategies and mechanisms to ensure that we protect the votes of the teeming mass of Ghanaians. These Ghanaians are yearning to be freed from the shackles of poverty and hardship inflicted by the reckless Akufo-Addo and Bawumia administrations. Most Ghanaians are ready to work with us to build the Ghana we all want together.

When I spoke at the commemoration of the 44th anniversary of the June 4th uprising in Hohoe on Sunday, I likened the 2024 elections to a peaceful and democratic revolution which will free our country and our people from the clutches of misrule from a mediocre, reckless, and incompetent government.

What we are gathered here to do is a declaration of intent by those of you in the diaspora to join the broad mass of Ghanaians in the collective push to dislodge this clueless administration through a peaceful, free, and fair election in 2024. This is an absolute national imperative, and we cannot and must not fail the people of Ghana.

It has been seven years of corruption, waste, arrogance, nepotism, abuse of office, human rights violations, and economic mismanagement. Seven years of reckless mismanagement of the economy has rendered our people broken and struggling to survive from one day to the next.
The Ghanaian economy is now classified among the worst managed in the world. We are currently in the same basket as the likes of Sri Lanka.

Ghana, our beloved country? Nkrumah’s Ghana?
Inflation is at record highs – impacting the prices of essential goods and services and escalating an already severe cost of living crisis. Our currency, the Ghana Cedi, has suffered one of its steepest declines in decades. This has earned the Cedi the depressing accolade, at one point, as the worst-performing currency in the world.

Businesses are stressed and being pushed to the brink, with quite a number left with no choice but to fold up or relocate to neighbouring countries. The Bank of Ghana has exacerbated the problem. It has blatantly breached its financial threshold, printing over 40 billion Ghana cedis to finance the government’s budget deficit.

In the last two years, we have suffered downgrade after downgrade to junk status by all the international credit rating agencies, and we have finally defaulted on our domestic and external debt repayment. The unilateral, insensitive debt restructuring programme has seen over GHS 80 billion lent by millions of Ghanaians to the government by purchasing bonds expropriated.

This has caused severe dislocation in the livelihoods of many pensioners and middle-class Ghanaian families. It has led to a depressing sight of aged pensioners picketing at the Ministry of Finance to demand their money. Local businesses, especially contractors and other government service providers are owed tens of billions of Ghana cedis, whose value continues to dwindle following the government’s inability or unwillingness to pay.

Government can also not meet all statutory payments, and many of the earmarked funds are in arrears. Even the most fundamental obligations, such as providing textbooks to primary schools or ensuring proper and consistent feeding of basic and senior high school students, have become daunting. The net effect of all these harrowing developments has been that Ghanaians are enduring economic suffering on an unprecedented scale.

I am certain that you are all too familiar with the precise narrative I have just rendered for those of you in the diaspora on whom millions of your relatives and compatriots back home depend for sustenance through remittances. All this would have been entirely avoidable if this government had heeded sound counsel from us in the opposition and other notable voices in civil society and academia and acted timeously.

The deliberate concealment of the actual situation through creative accounting and under-declaration of figures has combined with excessive and wasteful expenditure to hasten the inevitable catastrophe we are witnessing today.

Ultimately, too little was done too late, as our economy had so deteriorated that an IMF programme could only be secured by accepting the harshest conditionalities. To obtain an IMF programme, Ghanaians have paid a disproportionate price. Domestic bondholders have been given severe and painful haircuts and will be deprived of substantial interest due to them in 2023.

The consequences of these haircuts are grave for the financial sector. The financial health of Ghanaian banks has eroded and will undermine the financial sector’s performance with attendant job losses.
Insurance companies and pension funds invested in government bonds will also suffer, just as individuals who depend on pension payments for survival will suffer.

In addition to this already hostile economic environment, multiple taxes have been slapped on Ghanaians in the last two years alone. Over 23 other tax measures will make life even more unbearable for our people. Steep increases in the cost of utilities are increasing the burden on businesses and individuals.

Import duties and excise duties have shot through the roof. No wonder the Tema and Takoradi Ports have lost volumes while the Togo and Benin ports continue to be busy and receiving goods that should have come through our ports.

Ladies and gentlemen, one of the burning topics for discussion in Ghana today is the rate at which we are losing our (health) professionals, trained at great expense, to other countries.
I sympathise with the Ghanaian youth! Their feeling of despair and hopelessness is unprecedented in our history. They are now looking for the slightest opportunity to leave our shores in search of greener pastures.

Source: Ghanatodayonline.com

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