Speaking on behalf of Mr. Mahama, the former President’s Campaign Spokesperson, James Agyenim Boateng raised questions about the 2020 mid-year budget review presented by Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, saying it is a proof of the woeful economic performance of the Akufo-Addo government.
”The people of Ghana want to know how the Akufo-Addo government spent over 11 billion Ghana Cedis on COVID-19 without any meaningful improvement in the fight against the spread of the virus. For example, medical doctors, nurses and other health professionals consistently lament the inadequacy of Personal Protective Equipment, leading to some of them needlessly being infected and dying of COVID-19. Ghanaians want to know how the government spent 54.3 million Ghana Cedis on food packages in less than 3 weeks of lockdown in selected parts of the country, especially when many vulnerable people say that they did not benefit.
”The government has failed to explain to Ghanaians how it provided “parallel fiscal numbers” to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank; in December 2019 (as part of the Article IV consultations), which differed from what the Minister of Finance was requesting Parliament to approve at the time; and in March and May 2020 when the government presented the same “parallel fiscal numbers” simultaneously to Parliament and the IMF negotiating team at the time the government applied for the US$1 billion COVID-19 Rapid Credit Facility (RCF), which represents 100% of Ghana’s allowable quota for borrowing from the Fund. 4. It is important to point out that borrowing to the limit of Ghana’s 100% quota from the IMF implies that Ghana has hit its borrowing limit with the Fund, at least for the time being,” the statement read.
Mr. Agyenim Boateng further stated that ”the 2020 Mid-Year Budget Review shows that the increase in the projected budget deficit from 4.7% to an estimated 14% includes only 2.5% of COVID-19 expenditure. Therefore the substantial increase relates to non-COVID expenditure, which the government has failed to explain. By not making the distinction between COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 expenditure in the Mid-Year Budget Review, the Akufo-Addo government is simply deceiving Ghanaians that all the exponential budget deficit, loans and expenditure for 2020 are attributable to COVID-19. This is most unfortunate because the government is simply using COVID-19 to cover up its reckless management of the huge taxes and loans.”
To further prove the bad governance of President Akufo-Addo, Mr. Agyenim Boateng also took a swipe at Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Chairman of the Government’s Economic Management Team (EMT), saying instead of him assisting the President to salvage the crippling economy, he is always on social media shading the NDC flagbearer and former President, John Mahama.
”It is even more shocking to observe that at a time when the nation is confronted by such serious economic issues, which have forced the government to borrow to its very quota limit from the IMF, Dr Bawumia would still have some spare time to take to social media to engage in his trade mark comical, frivolous, ludicrous, outrageous and diversionary antics. Finally, the point must be emphasised that when the story of the Akufo-Addo government is told, it will be a litany of lies, falsehood, deceit, dishonesty and manipulation of figures under the auspices of Dr Bawumia as Chairman of the EMT.”