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Press Conference By The Economic Committee Of New Patriotic Party (NPP)


Press Conference By The Economic Committee Of New Patriotic Party (NPP)On The Declining Growth Of The Economy

Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen of the media. We have invited you here this morning to brief you on the DECLINING GROWTH OF THE ECONOMY as we prepare to vote out the non - performing and incompetent Mahama/ Amissah-Arthur caretaker Administration in December this year (in 64 days time).

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On September 26th, 2012 the AG. Government Statistician, Dr. Philomena Nyarko informed Ghanaians at a press conference that the projected GDP growth rate is 7.1 percent for 2012. This figure is 2.3 percent lower than the government’s own projected growth rate of 9.4 percent.

The details of the macroeconomic targets for 2012 are as follows;

Real non-oil GDP growth of 7.6 per cent;

Real overcall GDP growth of 9.4 per cent;

Average inflation of 8.7 per cent;

End of period inflation of 8.5 per cent;

Overall budget deficit of 4.8 per cent;

Gross reserves of not less than 3months.

(Page 141 of the Budget Statement 2012)

In 2011, the government announced that the growth rate in Ghana was 14.4%. Of that growth, about half of it (7.5%) were from the non-oil economy while the other half was from the new found crude oil.

The NDC and their apologists touted this as an unprecedented growth and achievement. But it appears the proceeds from the crude oil was not used to invest in further economic activities in the country.

Indeed, in 2012, our economic growth rate projected to is slow down from 14.4% to an expected yet unbelievable level of 7.1%. The abysmal performance of the economy was a blow not only to those who seem not to understand what growth rate means, in their World, growth has become synonymous with rising cost of living, unemployment, layoffs, depreciation of the cedi, load shedding of power even when the Akosombo Dam is full, high lending rates of banks, strangulating debt stock and so on and so on. In an interview with the Daily Graphic (27th September, 2012), a professional like, Dr. Joseph Abbey, the Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Analysis (CEPA) said that he was shocked by the findings of the provisional data from Ghana Statistical Services. Similar sentiments have been expressed by the business community and other professionals.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the press, even in 2008, when Ghana was not producing crude oil, the economy grew by 8.4% under the NPP government. So an expected growth rate of 7.1% with the arrival of crude oil in 2012 is unpardonable! The Mahama / Amissah-Arthur administration cannot gloss over this drastic decline in economic performance, Ghanaians need explanation.

In particular, government must explain why agricultural growth rates have systematically declined and now it is expected to be 2.6% the lowest since 2006. You recall that in 2008 the agricultural growth rate was 7.4%.

The records are that, agricultural growth rate declined from 7.4% in 2008 to 7.2%in 2009 5.3% in 2010, 2.8% in 2011 and now 2.6% the lowest ever since 2006.

Agriculture, Ladies and Gentlemen, is normally input driven, that is, the availability and use of fertilizers, insecticides, seedlings, agricultural and other inputs affect productivity and growth in the sector. It is a known fact that, agric inputs from Ghana are diverted to neighboring countries hence the unavailability and high cost of inputs to our dear farmers.

So today, it is not unusual to find chemicals produced specifically for the Ghanaian farmer are openly on sale in Cote d’ivoire, Togo and Nigeria, some of these chemicals bear the inscription Ghana COCOBOD, CODAPEC – NOT FOR SALE.

Again, why is it that productivity in the industrial sector is systematically declining (growing at 15.1% by the close of 2008, and grew by 41.1% only last year with the arrival of crude oil) now growing at an unimpressive 7.0 per cent in 2012.

As clearly pointed out, during the lecture by Dr.Mahamudu Bawumia the Vice Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and at the First Press Conference of the Economic Committee of the NPP, the accelerated depreciation of the cedi has made it extremely difficult for industries to plan and finance their raw material inputs, leading obviously to decline in production.

The borrowing from the domestic market by government through the issue of Treasury Bills has crowded out the private sector generally including industry from the banking system (91 day Treasury Bill rate in January was 10.83%, March was 12.3%, June 20%, September 22.8%). High and increasing T-bill rates divert money to the government from the available funds in the banking system.

The unreliability of energy to industry has further compounded the problem of industry, increasing their cost of production through the use of generators to power industry and high downtime. There is a general lack of business and investor confidence in the economy. This has naturally reduce investment in the industrial sector leading to decline in productivity and growth.

The Bank of Ghana Composite Index of Economic Activity (CIEA) showed an annual growth rate of 7.7% in June 2012 compared to 20.1% in the same period of 2011 under the Governorship of H.E Mr. Amissah- Arthur, the current Vice President.

Refer to paragraph 8 of the Monetary Policy Committee report released on September 12, 2012.

Furthermore, according to the same report the business confidence index computed from the latest Bank of Ghana surveys, declined from 96.4 in March 2012 to 95.1 in June 2012. According to the report this was driven by softened business sentiments on the exchange rate, sale prospects, profit level, as well as higher inflation expectations. Similarly the consumer confidence index declined from 99.5 in May, 2012 to 98.4 in July 2012 driven by the lower macro confidence sub – index (paragraph 10 of the MPC report).

All these problems as itemized above have led to labour layoffs that has added to our already high unemployment situation in the country.

It is therefore, not surprising that the Afro-Barometer Report conducted from May to June this year by Center for the Democratic Development (CDD) concluded unambiguously, that “the majority of Ghanaians assess their personal living conditions as very bad or bad”.

The evidence is clear, the economic management team of the NDC which was chaired by President Mahama and now the leader of the caretaker government lacks the skills to manage the economy. Ghana’s economy is worse off today even with the production of crude oil than it was in 2008 under the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration without crude oil.

Fellow Ghanaians can you imagine what the situation in the country would have been if the NPP administration under H.E J.A. Kufuor had not discovered oil in commercial quantities for Ghana? The NDC then in opposition did not even believe that we have found oil, because of their usual, can’t do spirit; just as they opposed the NHIS, LEAP Programme, Capitation Grants, School Feeding Programme, Metro Mass Transit etc. So it is not surprising that the NDC can’t do spirit is again being exhibited by their opposition to the Free SHS Education policy for all.

It is time for Change in the management of the country.

It is time for change to Move Ghana Forward.

Let us together change this government NOW and bring in an NPP government under the visionary leadership Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to Transform Lives and Transform Ghana.

Thank You.

Delivered by Hon. Yaw Osafo – Maafo (CHAIRMAN) - 0244330000

Committee members present:

1. Hon. Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku - 0244312881

2. Hon. Isaac Osei - 0244154589

3. Mr. John Boadu (secretary) - 0244668541

Source: NPP Communication Directorate



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