President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has described the tenure of office of his predecessor, John Dramani Mahama, as “an unmitigated disaster”, saying the former president’s economic track record, from 2013 to 2016, was abysmal.
President Akufo-Addo said this on Friday in response to a question posed by a radio host who had referenced a statement made by former President John Mahama accusing the current government of economic mismanagement.
“I wonder whether this statement was made tongue in cheek by the former president,” the President said.
According to President Akufo-Addo, when one looks at the record of the former president, who had accused his government of mismanagement, and compares it with the performance of his government, “it would tell if what I am offering people is economic mismanagement.”
The President said if what he is offering the nation can be described as economic mismanagement, then he wonders what words should be used to describe Mr Mahama’s stewardship of the country. “It is an unmitigated disaster; that’s what I would call him,” he stated.
According to President Akufo-Addo, under the tenure of office of John Mahama, economic growth rate in 2016 stood at 3.4 per cent, the lowest in two decades, with all other macroeconomic indicators pointing in the wrong direction.
“Inflation, when he left office, was 15.4%; today, at the end of July, which are the last hard facts from the Statistical Service, it’s 9%. Interest rates are always a good determinant of how the economy is operating; 32% in December 2016; today, it is 20.6%. We are talking about treasury bill decline in interest rate, we are talking about the trade deficit that was $1.8 billion in 2016, to a trade surplus of $2.6 billion at the end of 2019,” the President said.
He wondered that if these statistics, which, prior to COVID-19, led to Ghana being one of the fastest growing economies in the world, with a GDP of 7 percent, “can be considered economic mismanagement”, then what would be the description of the economy managed by John Mahama, which took Ghana into the embrace of the IMF.
Also responding to calls by Mr Mahama on the government to organise an economic forum, President Akufo-Addo stated: “If the economic forum is going to be a repetition of the so-called Senchi Consensus, then I think I have to spare the people of Ghana this sort of development.”
“The Senchi Consensus was an unmitigated disaster; out of it, we went into the embrace of the IMF with all the difficulties that came from there and the disarray it pointed to in the economy of our country,” he added.
The President therefore urged former President Mahama to be wary of commenting on matters to do with economic management.
“He is not on strong ground when he is talking about the economy. His track record, I am reluctant to use these strong words, but in normal parlance, I would say it’s abysmal and, therefore, he has no lessons to give me at all in the management of the economy,” President Akufo-Addo stated.