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Deputy Governor schools Governor

IEA Debate

08 November 2012

Vice-President Amissah-Arthur & Dr Mahamudu BawumiaDeputy Governor schools Governor

Mahamudu Bawumia, the 2012 Vice Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party, and a former deputy governor of the Bank of Ghana, at Tuesday’s Vice presidential candidate proved once again to Ghanaians, just as he did in 2008, why he is the best candidate to manage the economy of Ghana.

The selection of the governor of the Bank of Ghana, Paa Kwesi Amissah Arthur, by the ruling National Democratic Congress as vice president was aimed to neutralize the effect of Dr Bawumia on the electorate.

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However, this has proved to be a bad choice as John Mahama’s running mate was badly exposed intellectually by Dr Bawumia at Tuesday’s Vice Presidential debate organized by the Institute of Economic Affairs in Takoradi.

From the economy to social issues, good governance to natural resource management, Mr Amissah Arthur was reduced to churning out incoherent answers to questions posed by moderators, as he he was given tutorials on each subject area by Dr Bawumia.

On the economy, with particular focus on the depreciation of the cedi, Dr Bawumia noted that pumping a lot of money into the economy for no work done was partly the reason for the depreciation of the country’s currency.

Describing the phenomenon as "woyomisation of the economy" in reference to the payment of judgement debts to Alfred Woyome, Construction Pioneers and others, the NPP vice presidential candidate said the free fall of the country’s currency was an expression of the lack of confidence in the economy.

Vice President Kwesi Amissah Arthur in answering the same question attributed the depreciation of the cedi to the activities of speculators in an election year who he said changed their monies from cedi into foreign currencies. He said for the first time in the country’s history the country’s currency was depreciating below 20 per cent in an election year and the NDC government must be applauded.

This was sharply rebutted by Dr Bawumia who stated that in 2004 the depreciation of the cedi was 2.2% and is on record to have been the lowest in the fourth republic, and not the assertions made by Paa Kwesi Amissah Arthur.

Dr Bawumia further added that elections must not be blamed for the depreciation, noting that “When you mismanage your economy in an election year the cedi will depreciate.”

On the issue of increasing trade between West African States, the Vice President stated that language barrier was a problem among member states of West Africa and his solution to increasing trade between members was to ensure the “department of French in West Africa” was resourced to ensure the French language was taught in West Africa. This response drew a mixed reaction of laughter and shock from the audience who wondered where the “department of French in West Africa” was situated.

Asked how the housing deficit of some 1.7 million units was going to be bridged, Mr Amissah Arthur, noted that it was important the effects of erosion was contained as it threatened to eat away valuable land for construction.

Dr Bawumia, on the other hand, stated that the NPP would institute a Housing Agency which will among others be dedicated to developing new communities and townships in partnership with the private sector; be responsible for acquisition, development, management and allocation of land banks for housing development; and promote the use of local building materials and alternative technology in housing construction.

Dr Bawumia assured the local housing industry that the NPP would give the same incentives the NDC government gave to STX and GUMA, and would partner the private sector to reduce the housing deficit by building an extra annual 60,000 housing units in addition to the yearly annual output of 40,000 units.

The vice president also misfired when a question on tourism was put to him, mentioning animal reserves instead of games reserves. The Vice President’s answer to improving Ghana’s tourism potential was “building hotels with higher standards” which he said would reduce charges at hotels and ensure that more tourists come to Ghana.

The NPP Vice Presidential Candidate, on the other hand, said improving infrastructure in Ghana’s tourist centres was the key to improving Ghana’s tourist potential.

Dr Bawumia noted that tourists would refuse to visit Ghana when there is “dumsor dumsor”, when there is irregular supply of water, poor roads and general insecurity. He noted that all of these problems would have to be solved for Ghana’s tourism potential to be realized.

By Fiifi Arhin

Source: thestatesmanonline



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