Poverty has worsened; economy nearly collapsing – Mahama

    Former President John Mahama has bemoaned the state of Ghana’s economy under president Akufo-Addo, saying he sees poverty worsening in the country.

    The former president observed that extreme inflation and price volatility have heightened the hardship across the country, especially in the northern sector.

    Mahama tweeted Thursday evening that the situation shows that his party, the NDC, manages the economy better than the NPP.

    “Back from a trip to the Savanna, Northern and Upper West Regions – and poverty has worsened due to extreme inflation and price volatility.

    “The economy is in a near state of collapse; clearly, the NDC has been a better manager of the economy!” he said.

    Mr Mahama’s concerns come at a time the country’s debt has ballooned and reached unsustainable levels, which has pushed the managers of the economy to seek an IMF bailout – a move they passionately condemned the Mahama government for in 2015  when they were in opposition.

    Currently as the country struggles to pay its huge debts, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta is relying heavily on a Domestic Debt Exchange (DDE) Programme he announced in December 2022 to help put the debt at a sustainable level.

    But Individual Bondholders Association of Ghana (IBHAG) has kicked against the programme and cautioned the government not to include them lest their investments will be locked.

    On Thursday, the Christian Council of Ghana (CCG) asked the Akufo-Addo government to suspend its debt restructuring programme and rather engage in broader stakeholder consultations.

    The council in a statement issued said the whole process ought to be halted after carefully examining the concerns of the general public.

    “After various discussions with some stakeholders on Ghana’s economy, we’re convinced that the whole process needs to be suspended until broader consultations have been made,” the statement indicated.

    The Council continued, “as an Advocacy group that speaks for the vulnerable in the society, the Council has examined the concerns of the Individual Bond Holders of Ghana (IBHAG), the Pensioner Bond Holders Forum, our church members and the general public and have identified lapses in the debt restructuring programme, a major one being lack of consultation with affected individuals and institutions.”

    “With the current economic hardships in the country and the agitations among the general public, it is in the nation’s interest for the Finance Ministry to suspend the 31st January deadline given to individuals to sign on to the programme and rather propose a road map for dialogue to make the process participatory such that the outcome would be acceptable to all.”

    Meanwhile, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta on Wednesday said a joint technical committee had been constituted to look into the concerns raised by individual bondholders ahead of the rollout of the programme.

    It is not clear whether the bondholders will be exempted from the programme.


    By Henryson Okrah|

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