Former NPP youth activist Benard Oduro Takyi has challenged President Akufo-Addo to cut government expenditure and make realistic savings to develop critical sectors of the economy.
Takyi, a former Presiding Member of the Sunyani West Municipality, believes the government of President Akufo-Addo has impoverished Ghanaians due to the profligacy thriving at the seat of the president since assuming power in 2017.
He was reacting to a tweet by Akufo-Addo which suggested that Ghana’s story of 65 years of independence is one that speaks about hope for a prosperous future.
The 65th anniversary of Ghana’s independence this year is under the theme “Working together, bouncing back better.”
In a tweet on February 19, Akufo-Addo stated that citizens have to work together as a team with a common purpose for the development of the country.
“We have a story. Ours is a story of hope! Working together, Bouncing back together,” he stated.
The Economy and Debt situation
Some analysts and critics have disagreed with Akufo-Addo’s position on inspiring hope in Ghana, specifically because of the seeming mismanagement of the country’s economy saddled with incessant fuel hikes and depreciation of the Ghana Cedi.
Last month, the West African nation’s dollar bonds slumped 10% in 10 days, moving deeper into distressed territory as investors judged that re-financing debt in the Eurobond market won’t be an option when the Federal Reserve hikes rates and budget targets remain elusive.
The extra premium demanded on Ghana’s sovereign dollar debt jumped on Wednesday to an average 1,105 basis points, from 683 basis points in September. Its $27 billion of foreign debt had the worst start to the year among emerging markets, extending last year’s 14% loss, according to a Bloomberg index.
Investors are questioning whether Ghana — the region’s second-biggest economy — can sustain its debt levels if a surge in borrowing costs shuts it out of international markets. Government debt climbed to 81.5% of gross domestic product (GDP)at the end of last year, from 31.4% a decade ago, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
That places Ghana among the most vulnerable credits to tighter U.S. monetary policy, despite strong economic growth.
Benard Oduro Takyi who has followed the trajectory of the economic slump even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic contends that the Akufo-Addo government has failed Ghanaians because of the huge debts.
He told Dwaboase host, Prince Kwame Minkah on TV XYZ that “some of the economic issues Akufo-Addo raised in 2015 and slammed the Mahama administration for are happening today under his watch.”
“The president must answer to them and not hide behind COVID-19 to be evasive,” he stated. “In politics, principles are the same but when you want to make convenience over shadow principles in politics, you are seen as an inconsistent leader.”
B.O.T who is the Regional Coordinator for the Commonwealth Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs-West Africa (CAYE-WA) recounted how former president J. A Kufuor was candid with Ghanaians on the economic challenges of the country between 2001 and 2009.
“When President Kufuor was in power, he lowered his pride and spoke to Ghanaians when there were challenges. Former president John Mahama encountered dumsor [erratic power cuts] that affected businesses but called for a consensus-building and tackled the challenges, but what we see [in the era of Akufo-Addo] is arrogance in the midst of challenges.
“When the president stops hiring expensive jets and bathing in the skies, Ghanaians will believe him; If our story is a story of hope then the rambo style of arresting journalists must stop.”
“From 2017 to 2020, did President Akufo-Addo encourage Ghanaians to work together? Why is he calling for both sides to work together? He is doing so because there is a hang Parliament,” he observed and argued that Ghanaians must not believe Akufo-Addo.
He concluded that despite the glaring hardship in Ghana, the Presidency keeps employing party apparatchiks who have become a burden on the distressed national purse.