Mahama blames unbudgeted consumption expenditure before election 2020 for current state of the economy

Former President John Dramani Mahama has accused the Akufo-Addo led administration of seeking to justify its poor economic management with the economic effects of the Covid -19 pandemic.

Addressing the nation at the Kempinski hotel to end his tour of the 16 regions, the 2020 NDC flagbearer expressed worry over the current state of Ghana’s economy.

According to him, the government’s poor and recklessness management of the economy is due to overspending on the 2020 elections and not the effects of the pandemic.

“The government has attempted to conceal its appalling incompetence and recklessness in the management of the economy with the Covid-19 pandemic while the pandemic pose a global challenge to the global economy including ours. It is quite clear in our case, that it was the desire to win elections at all cost that got the government to engage in unbudgeted consumption expenditure to create an artificial feel good factor before election 2020. It is this overspending that led to the very large deficit that has undermined the economy,” John Mahama said.

He added that economies of other African countries were equally affected by the pandemic but they are keen on effectively managing their economy and reducing their debt to Gross Domestic Product ratio.

“Data from our neighbors and other comparative countries in sub-Saharan Africa who were also ravaged by the Covid -19 clearly shows that  almost all of them kept their economies within manageable limits and have not been through economic crisis that Ghana finds itself in today. Covid-19 did not affect us any more extraordinarily than it did to Cote D’ Ivoire yet their budget deficit for 2020 was 5.9 per cent and their debt to GDP ratio stands at 49 per cent. Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Niger and others have deficits below 7 per cent while their debt to GDP is nowhere near the 80 per cent that Ghana has recorded,” he said.

John Mahama argued that the country experienced red flags of a poor economy even before Covid-19 took over the country.

“The undeniable effects of Covid-19 notwithstanding, it is evident from the above, that the government placed its inordinate desire to win elections above prudent economic management and that is why Ghanaians are going through much suffering now. Long before Covid-19 struck, red flags had emerged, signaling mismanagement of the economy, we drew attention to this, but no corrective action was taken,” he noted.

This, according to John Mahama has led to a total loss of confidence by the international market in the Ghanaian economy.