An insider in the Akufo-Addo government, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, has watered down claims by Ghanaians that the country’s economy is at its worse and causing hardship among the people.
Some Ghanaians have in the last few months complained of economic hardship, which they say is negatively impacting on businesses.
The collapse of some seven indigenous banks by the Bank of Ghana has further exacerbated the hardship as over 2,000 workers have lost their jobs as a result.
The strength of the country’s local currency, the cedi, keeps depreciating against major international trading currencies, especially the dollar, with the current rate pegged at about 4.9 cedis per dollar.
Vice president Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia in the run up to the December 2016 elections made the depreciation of the cedi a campaign message and chastised the Mahama government for failing to improve the cedi’s performance.
He diagnosed that the cedi was suffering because the “fundamentals” were weak and thus promised to arrest the depreciating cedi if Akufo-Addo was voted.
Dr. Bawumia who heads the government’s economic team, has however failed to fulfill that promise almost two years of taking over the governance of the country, and has even been silent on the cedi-dollar issue despite being referred to some of his past statements on the matter and calls.
But responding to the apparent criticism of Dr. Bawumia and the Akufo-Addo government in a Facebook post Thursday night, Mr. Otchere-Darko rejected the claims, stating the economy is on track and performing better now than in 2016.
“If you follow the news you are likely to believe that the economy is performing worse now than it did in 2017 or 2016,” he stated, adding “but in essence, the opposite is rather the case. It is getting stronger and not on steroids”.
While some commenters agreed with him, most disagreed with his assertion, insisting the economy is worsening now than it was in 2016/2017.
For some, his assertion could only be a joke.
Ironically Mr. Otchere-Darko had just last week admitted in a Facebook of economic hardship and unemployment in the country, and that people struggle to make ends meet.
“There is hardship, there is unemployment, and, it is fair to say that the majority of our people continue to struggle to make ends meet. The typical woes of a developing economy that had been recklessly managed,” he posted last week.
He however said the government has a clear sense of direction on where it is taking the country, saying “where government is taking the nation is the right way and must be made to succeed”.
The politician-cum-lawyer said he was hopeful the government would find a workable balance between pursuing the big vision goal and responding to the necessary electoral cycle relief expectations.
Water bill reduced
Meanwhile, on Friday morning, Mr. Otchere-Darko posted again to tout the government for what he deemed a water bill reduction which he said never happened under the National Democratic Congress’ last eight years.
“Your water bill is going down. This never once happened in 8yrs of NDC. Your electricity bill also went down earlier this year. That also never happened under 8yrs of NDC. Have a good day!” he posted on Facebook.