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Kwarteng to Mahama: Stop unnecessary politicisation of economic issues

John Mahama/Mahamudu Bawumia debate

John Mahama

Kwaku Kwarteng, the Chairman of Parliament’s Finance Committee, has advised the former president John Mahama to desist from unnecessarily politicising issues pertaining to the Ghanaian economy.

His comments follow Mahama’s recent accusation that the Akufo-Addo-led government is using the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse for the “economic hardships” in the country.

Speaking at a forum organised by the Centre for Ethical Governance and Administration (CEGA) at the University of Ghana in Accra, Mahama said Akufo-Addo rather took advantage of the pandemic to spend “recklessly” from the national purse.

“COVID-19 has become the convenient whipping boy and has been cited as the reason for the crisis we face now and the attendant economic hardships.

“Yes, COVID-19 affected the economy, and no one can dispute that,” Mahama said. “It is however not the main reason why we are in the current hole [where] we find ourselves. COVID-19 only became a pretext for reckless election-related spending, which produced the largest ever budget deficit in the recent economic history of Ghana last year.

But speaking in an interview with Beatrice Adu on The Big Bulletin, Kwarteng said: “The fundamental pressure on politicians to deliver more remain, we continue to borrow to finance even the budget, to finance projects, those projects are still there …we continue to borrow as a people to finance even recurrent expenditure.”

“These are fundamental challenges to the economy, and my invitation to the former president is that let us as a people put aside this partisanship.

“Ask ourselves what is it that the former administration under president Mahama did that worked and which of them did not work and why,” Kwarteng said.

Fred Dzakpata

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