The running mate to the flag bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the 2016 general election, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has accused the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) of failing to provide basic amenities and health care for Ghanaians.
The former deputy governor of the Bank of Ghana made the accusation when he delivered a lecture on the topic: “The Role of Financial Discipline and
Investment in National Development,” at a National Financial Literacy and Investment Summit in Wa.
The summit was organised by the University Students Association of Ghana (USAG) of the University for Development Studies (UDS), Wa Campus.
Delivering the lecture, Dr Bawumia criticised the government, indicating that Ghanaians could not relate to claims by the government of huge investments in the water sector.
“The NDC claims to have put in over a billion dollars in the area of water infrastructure. Yet, today many places across the country are seeing the worst shortages of water in decades. So what is the essence of the claims being made by the NDC with respect to investments in water when, after seven years, the people are rather seeing worse shortages than they were before these so-called investments?” he queried.
Commenting on the health system, he said the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) had collapsed, as patients now had to pay before receiving treatment.
Bawumia shreds NDC project claims
He outlined six reasons why the electorate should reject the attempt by the NDC to hoodwink the public to believe that it had carried out massive investments in projects, since the reality pointed to the contrary.
Dr Bawumia said the NDC had increased Ghana’s debt in seven years by GH¢90 billion — from GHC9.5 billion at the end of 2009 to some GHC99 billion currently, an equivalent of some $37 billion at the time of borrowing.
“First, if you sum the cost of all the loan-financed projects listed in the green book (even including those with artistic impressions), it is less than $7 billion.
Meanwhile, the government has borrowed the equivalent of $37 billion. So where is the rest of the money? Indeed, given the resources at its disposal, one should expect at least four times the quantum of investment that the NDC claims to have undertaken,” he said.
He claimed that more than $30 billion borrowed by the NDC could not be accounted for, saying the government had done a bad job at giving Ghanaians their due after undertaking unprecedented borrowing in the last seven years.
Overpricing of projects
“The third reason why I say the NDC is attempting to hoodwink Ghanaians with claims of massive infrastructural investment is that most of these projects are over-priced as a result of the single source procurement method which has become the procurement method of choice for this government, as we saw in the SADA, GYEEDA, KARPOWER, SMARTYS bus branding, etc. I would like to see, for example, the explanation from the government’s quantity surveyors of the costing on the Kumasi Airport runway for $23.8 million. However, you and I know that they will not explain because they cannot explain,” he said.
So-called massive investments
“The fifth reason why I say the NDC is attempting to hoodwink Ghanaians with claims of massive infrastructural investments is that infrastructural investment is not supposed to be for its own sake but to increase productivity and production in the economy. The proof of the pudding, as they say, is in the eating. If you have, indeed, undertaken massive and unprecedented infrastructural investment, then why is the economy collapsing? Why is the
NHIS in trouble? Why is unemployment on the increase? Why are businesses collapsing? Why is agricultural growth stagnant? Why is manufacturing growth negative? Why is the government having difficulty meeting statutory payments?” he queried.
“The facts, therefore, show that the impact of the NDC infrastructure investment has not translated into increased output, job creation and better living conditions for the people of Ghana,” Dr Bawumia added.