The Minister of Employment and Social Welfare, Moses Asaga, has analysed the state of the economy address by the NPP’s vice presidential candidate, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, and concluded that “he misled Ghanaians with false figures.”
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Thursday, Hon. Asaga said the former governor of the Bank of Ghana ended up massaging World Bank and IMF figures to dent the image of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).
He said: “Bawumia is behaving as if an economy is just managed on only daily basis. He knows very well that interest rates have fallen. For him to be saying that lending rates have not come down, that is not correct. Lending rates are moving. Treasury rates are now in single digits.”
“How can he say the low inflation does not reflect in interest rates?... Exchange rates started depreciating in the last four weeks… Dr. Bawumia should not be a scarecrow, but must have confidence that these are short-term as far as the exchange rates are concerned,” Hon. Asaga added.
The Member of Parliament for Nabdam said Dr. Bawumia could have done a fair analysis of the economy if he had taken off his NPP propaganda cloak. However, he said, the NPP running mate deceived Ghanaians with false figures to score political points.
“Dr. Bawumia, who is an economist, has suddenly been laced with NPP propaganda and so because of that he has left a few of the standard economy he used to churn out when he was a governor. So you can see that a lot of his pointers are more popularism incline just to get applause from his supporters.
“Bawumia was comparing tomatoes with oranges. He goes back to 2000 to change figures, which at that time I was a member of the board of the Central Bank. He was literally head of research and we had confidence in him to advice on macroeconomic and monetary policies. So if he is now churning figures indicating that macroeconomic figures were seriously distorted then what was he doing in that bank?” Hon. Asaga quizzed.
“Whiles he was using the IMF and World Bank figures of 2000-1 to argue his point about how economic indicators were distorted; when it comes to 2008-9 he refused to use the same World Bank and IMF figures that showed how this economy was messed up in two years.
“He was massaging figures. The commodity figures he was churning were false. When it comes to 2008-9 he depressed and compressed some of the prices of some of these important goods and services. For example, maize never sold at GhC20 at end of 2008, but was selling between GhC 40-50. Today, he says in 2012 maize is selling at GhC150. He has only taken the upper point and not the average.”
The legislator remarked: “He has misled Ghanaians by saying that we are rather in triple digit inflation. Inflation is calculated on a year by year basis. As a reputable economist he shouldn’t let the clout of NPP let him lose sight of the way inflation is calculated.”
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