A Deputy Communications Director of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Ernest Owusu Bempah has reiterated his point that former President John Dramani Mahama shortchanged Ghanaians by spending $ 260 million to construct the Circle Interchange.
Mr Bempah described the action of the former President as reckless.
Speaking on the Big Issue on TV3, he said “under Mahama administration, they spent $260 million to build that reckless circle interchange. When you compare that to Pokuase Interchange it tells you that somebody is recklessly incompetent.
“They shortchanged the Ghanaians $260million. NPP comes to power but we used $ 289 million to build four interchanges, one of them being one of the biggest in Africa which is the Pokuase interchange.”
Mr Owusu Bempah earlier stated that “we all know our political history, what has Mahama got to offer the people of Ghana? As Vice President, as a caretaker president and the sitting president, for six-year he ran the economy like a casino economy. His key legacy was dumsor which was a nightmare for every Ghanaian, hundreds of thousands of jobs were lost.
“The Economy was on its knees when there was no global crisis, running GDP of 3 percent.
“We handed over an economy that had discovered oil in commercial quantity, GDP was about 14 percent when we were leaving power but when Mahama took over before 2012, GDP dropped to 3.5 percent GDP, that tells how he ran the economy down. This is the economy that NDC left, with abysmal performance in all sectors.
“The ordinary barber, the hairdresser, the trotro driver suffered, we were not in a pandemic yet this was the growth, it was terrible under NDC. In 2013 depreciation of the Cedi was 14.5 percent, in 2014 it was 31.3 percent depreciation, we are talking about the dead goat. Most of the Ghanaian industry collapsed under NDC regime, from PNDC to Mahama NDC so I am daring them to come and tell us that it is not right.
“In the banking sector, the interest rate was about 35 to 40 percent under Mahama, high cost of borrowing, there was no crisis, and corruption was the order of the day, Mahama institutionalized corruption in this country, they made corruption part of our body politics, to the extent that the leader himself was part, such as Kanazoe fiasco, Airbus scandal, Isofotone. A company cited by Bloomberg and New York Times as one of the most corrupt companies in the world was awarded the $260 million contract to build the circle interchange.
“Under Akufo, $289 million was used to build four interchanges in the Ghana, Obetsebi, Pokuase, Tema and Tamale interchange.
“When it comes to education, children who were from poor families couldn’t get access to free education under social democratic dead goat. Parents could not take their children to school because they are poor. Today, under a limping elephant over 5 million children since NPP took over have been able to access SHS education.
“The energy sector, the debt they left before they left power is absolutely unthinkable. They signed the ENI Sankofa contract which made Sankofa gas the most expensive gas in the world that today the ordinary Ghanaian is paying for. So when they talk about increasing debts it is them. Ghanaians should be wise, Mahama is coming for just four, he was six years,and this is his legacy so will they choose a dead goat over a limping elephant.”
Gov’t to restrict importation of rice, ‘yemuadie’ and other products
The government is set to lay before Parliament today, November 21, a Constitutional Instrument (C.I) seeking to restrict the importation of selected strategic products into the country.
The items, numbering over 20, will include rice, tripe (popularly called “yemuadie” in Ghana), and diapers.
The government said the move is part of efforts to enhance local production.
Speaking during a press briefing in Parliament, the Minister of Trade and Industry, K.T Hammond said, “Stomach of animals, bladder and the chunk of intestines (yemuadie), the country had had to put in an amount of about $164 million towards the importation of these items. We are taking steps to ensure that in terms of rice, there’s no poverty of rice in the country.”
He emphasized, “By these restrictions, we are not going to ensure that there’s no food in the country at all; that is not the point at all. There have to be some efforts by the government to ensure that we go back to Acheampong’s operation feed yourself. There are about 22 items on the list, one of them, I think, is diapers.”
He announced the introduction of the Ghana Standards Authority Regulations 2023, which also seeks to streamline the manufacturing of cement to ensure competitive pricing.
Mahama doesn’t understand 24hr economy; don’t vote for him – Bawumia
Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia says former President John Dramani Mahama does not understand the 24-hour economy policy he is proposing.
According to the Vice President, that policy is already being implemented in the country, as hospitals, fuel companies, among others, operate a 24-hour system.
Dr. Bawumia, therefore, urged Ghanaians to ignore Mahama during the 2024 polls since he has nothing new to offer and vote for the New Patriotic Party.
“John Mahama says he has a new idea. What is the idea? He says he wants a 24-hour economy. He doesn’t even understand that policy. Today in Ghana, our hospitals work 24 hours, our electricity company works 24 hours, our water company works 24 hours, our fuel stations work 24 hours, and many chop bars work 24 hours. Today because of digitalisation, you can transfer money 24 hours, you can receive money 24 hours… So he doesn’t understand his own policy. It doesn’t make sense.”
“So I want you to vote for me in 2024 because I will bring a new vision, I will bring a new policy. Mahama is the past, Dr Bawumia is the future. If John Mahama was there, we would say we have a dumsor economy, you can’t have a 24-hour economy in dumsor. So, you want to vote for Dr Bawumia in 2024, we will take the country to new heights,” Dr Bawumia stated.
Bagbin rebukes IMF over alleged pressure to pass some bills under certificate of urgency
The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has accused the International Monetary Fund (IMF) of pressuring the House to pass a number of bills under a certificate of urgency.
Mr. Bagbin cited bills such as the Affirmative Action Bill, which is allegedly being pushed by the IMF as part of the conditionality for the balance of the $3 billion credit facility for Ghana.
Speaking at the Speaker’s Breakfast Meeting on Monday, Alban Bagbin insisted that the House will not be coerced by the IMF to pass the bill.
“Even in this budget, you can see the arm of the IMF in a lot of provisions in the budget. A critical bill like the Affirmative Action Gender Equality Bill has come to Parliament under a certificate of urgency. Please, it won’t happen; we won’t pass it under a certificate of urgency.”
“There are critical stakeholders we must consult and make sure we go together. We will not be dictated by the IMF; that one, you can be assured. This is a very critical bill that the IMF should know that we need the buy-in of the stakeholders to be able to implement it,” Alban Bagbin said.
The Affirmative Action Bill, when passed into law, would seek to expunge the historically low representation of women in decision-making spaces and promote democracy and development through all-inclusive participation.