– Dr. Bawumia assures NPP delegates
The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has said the New Patriotic Party (NPP) will become the first political party in the Fourth Republic to break the eight-year power cycle.
Speaking at the annual national delegates’ conference of the NPP, in Kumasi, Dr Bawumia said although “breaking the eight will not be easy,” he is very optimistic that “for the first time in our history we’ll break the eight.”
He said NPP has a superior record compared to the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), hence it is in a pole position to remain in government after the 2024 elections.
However, he insisted that it should happen with a united front. He said: “I believe if we’re united we shall break the eight. Our success will depend on how we conduct ourselves. We must not take down each other, but rather the NDC whose return will be a disaster for Ghana.”
The NPP, he said, has a solid record of achievement in the Fourth Republic. “Our party has become the most important driver of the Ghanaian vision and development agenda. We have been responsible for the most important policies which touch every Ghanaian in every corner of our nation, the NHIS, the school feeding program, the free antenatal services, the Free SHS, the free TVET program among others,” he stated.
Dr. Bawumia said it is the party that birthed the government. Thus, strengthening party-government relations is key to collective success.
He said the Party has a solid track record in many areas of governance including agriculture, industry, roads, housing, education, health, transformational policies like digitalization, social interventions among others.
However, he said the NPP has not solved all the problems facing Ghanaians “but we have solved many problems and we have a plan we are working to.”
He reckoned the devastation brought on the global economies by COVID-19, which Ghana is no exception.
Notwithstanding the global economic adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on economic growth, debts and deficits, at the macroeconomic level, he said inflation in Ghana stands at 12.2 per cent, lower than it was in 2016 (15.4 per cent).
“Average Bank lending rates in Ghana today (21 per cent) are much lower than they were in 2016 (32 per cent),” he added.
According to the Bank of Ghana, the average exchange rate depreciation over the last four years (7.3 per cent) is the lowest for any first-term government since 1992. The year 2020 recorded one of the lowest rates of depreciation in the last 28 years. The cumulative exchange rate depreciation of 2.6 per cent in November 2021 the year is lower than the 9.7 per cent depreciation recorded in 2016.
“For the first time in over two decades, the trade balance (the difference between what we export and what we import) recorded a surplus for four consecutive years from 2017-2020.
Gross International Reserves are at $10.8 billion (4.9 months of import cover compared to $6.9 billion (3.5 months of import cover) in 2016.
Dr. Bawumia noted that “Our record of creating jobs (over 750,000 jobs) is vastly superior to the record of the NDC government which froze public service recruitment. So, if our performance on the key macroeconomic indicators (inflation, interest rates, depreciation, external reserves, trade balance and jobs) during the worst global pandemic in 100 years is better than your performance without such a pandemic how can you say your economic management is better?”