Flag bearer of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says Ghana’s once buoyant economy, especially, the agricultural sector, has seen a sharp decline to the extent that the West African nation now imports plantain from neighbouring La Cote d’Ivoire.
Weak policies coupled with low investment, according to the opposition leader, have contributed to the huge losses in the agricultural sector.
According to Nana Akufo-Addo, he is yet to come to terms with the fact that a country which grew 8.4% in 2008 without oil under President John Agyekum Kufuor, is now growing less than 4% despite the abundant natural resources, including oil in commercial quantities at the disposal of President John Dramani Mahama.
Speaking at an NPP branch meeting in Paris, on Saturday, May 28, 2016, Nana Akufo-Addo explained that whilst some neighbouring countries have made giant strides in the last five years, Ghana, however, within the same time frame, and under the leadership of President Mahama, is going backwards.
When Kufuor was leaving office in 2008, the food import bill for our country was $600 million. Mills and Mahama criticized Kufuor for his performance and they promised to reduce it. Last year, the food import bill of our country was $1.5 billion. We are now importing plantain into Ghana! Agriculture, which in Kufuor’s last year was growing at 7.4%; this last year was 0.04%. These are the facts about Ghana, they are not my inventions. You look at the official and budget statistics, you’ll find it there,” he said.
The mismanagement of the economy, he added, is the reason why the country went to the IMF for a bailout, assuring that the NPP when giving the mandate to govern the former British Colony will put it back on the road to prosperity and progress.
He told the gathering that his prime focus will be the revival of industry, manufacturing and agricultural sectors, noting that that will be key to creating jobs for the teeming unemployed youth in the country.
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