A Senior Research Fellow of the Kumasi Technical University, Dr. Smart Sarpong, has slammed Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia for claiming the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) has done a better job with improving Ghana’s economy than the erstwhile Mahama government.
Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, on Thursday, April 7, 2022, delivered a speech at a Tertiary Students Confederacy (TESCON) conference held at Pentecost Convention Centre, Millennium City, Kasoa; ridiculed the previous government while highlighting some social and digital interventions made by the incumbent government to improve the living conditions of Ghanaians.
Excerpts of Dr. Bawumia’s Speech
Touching on various sectors of the economy, the Veep outlined the measures by the government towards the economy.
“Virtually every government in our history has noted the need for Ghana to change the structure of the economy through diversification and by shifting from the focus on the production of raw materials to value addition. This is a key pillar of Nana Akufo-Addo’s Ghana Beyond Aid agenda,” Dr Bawumia emphasized.
“Reforms in the cocoa sector (including hand pollination have resulted in the highest ever cocoa production (1,047,385 tonnes) recorded in Ghana during the 2020/2021 cocoa season. This is very remarkable.”
“The facilitation of the growth of an Automotive Industry is on course. Volkswagen, Suzuki, Sino Truck, Peugeot, and Toyota, and recently Nissan have all established assembly plants in Ghana. KIA, Hyundai and Renault are also on course to start production in Ghana this year. Kantanka automobiles is also benefiting from the same incentives that have attracted these giants onto our shores.”
The government, he added, has started the process of building the integrated bauxite and aluminium industry, the Vice President pointed out.
“The partner for the project (Rocksure International), a wholly owned Ghanaian company, has been selected and has already started work to develop the Nyinahin-Mpassaso hills. The Minerals Resource Estimate to confirm the quantity and quality of the bauxite will be undertaken this year after which the refinery design will follow for the establishment of the aluminum refinery. Ghana has waited for this since independence and with visionary leadership, sound planning and by the Grace of God it is finally happening.”
“Changing the structure of our economy through diversification and value addition will not happen overnight. However, it remains a major pre-occupation of the government because it is our pathway to reduce import dependency, expand the economy, create jobs, increase exports, and support the value of our currency.
“The data shows that despite all the challenges of the last two years, even with COVID-19, the growth of the economy is fundamentally stronger than it was in the 2013-2016 period, and we will continue to do more”, he pledged.
Dr. Bawumia further detailed the citizens about many other initiatives undertaken by the government for the economic recovery of Ghana.
Dr. Smart Sarpong’s Response
But to Dr. Smart Sarpong, he is less concerned about the Vice President proving the NPP has done better than the Mahama (NDC) government because, to him, what is most important is how these things positively impact the economy and really resolve the hardships Ghanaians are facing.
Speaking on Peace FM’s ”Kokrokoo”, Dr. Smart Sarpong said; “I don’t really care about NPP being better than the NDC. What concerns me is for the country to be progressive . . . So, you can defend your figures but I believe a lot of people are interested in our progressive growth.”
He charged the government to ”focus on where we are now”, stressing he expected the Vice President to ”have spent more on the roadmap towards economic recovery”.