BAWUMIA TO MAHAMA – TELL US THE COST OF PROJECTS

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Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, vice presidential
candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP),
says the Mahama-led National Democratic
Congress (NDC) government is hiding the real
costs of the projects it is embarking on from
the public.
“If you sum the cost of all the loan financed
projects listed in the green book (even
including those with artistic impressions) it is
less than $7 billion.
Meanwhile, the government has borrowed the
equivalent of $37 billion so where is the rest
of the money?” Dr Bawumia queried.
The NPP vice presidential candidate made the
comments when he addressed a National
Financial Literacy and Investment Summit
organised by the University Students
Association of Ghana (USAG) at the University
for Development Studies, Wa Campus in the
Upper West Region, under the theme: “The
Role of Financial Discipline and Investment in
National Development.”
Investment In Infrastructure
According to Dr Bawumia, the NDC
government is attempting to hoodwink
Ghanaians with claims of massive
infrastructural investments since “investment
in infrastructure has actually been on the
decline.”
Dr Bawumia, an economist of international
repute, underscored: “It is important to note
that we measure investment in an economy
relative to GDP and not just in nominal terms.
This is a point that is unfortunately lost on this
NDC government and their communicators.
“If as a country your investment in
infrastructure relative to GDP is declining, then
your growth is likely to decline. This
background is very important to understand
what is happening in Ghana today. The
evidence shows that notwithstanding the
massive increase in the debt stock, capital
expenditure as a percentage (%) of GDP has
actually been on the decline from 9.1% of GDP
in 2008 to 4.1% by 2015. Capital expenditure
as a percentage of GDP averaged 11% for
2001-2008 (without oil) while that for
2009-2015 has averaged 5.7% (with oil).
Borrow To Consume
He quoted the Managing Director of the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) as saying
that most of Ghana’s borrowing had been used
for consumption and not for investment.
“The overpricing of contracts, corruption and
the absence of value for money considerations
are partly responsible for this,” he said.
Kumasi Airport Runway
Dr Bawumia said for example that a runway
rehabilitation alone at Kumasi airport cost this
country $23.8 million whereas a proposed
airport at Ho is estimated at $25 million; and
asked sarcastically, “was the runway in Kumasi
paved with gold?”
He insisted that given the resources at its
disposal, one should expect at least four times
the quantum of investment that the NDC
claims to have undertaken, saying, “The close
to $30 billion of borrowing that was not used
for projects could have been used for other
critical sectors of the economy.
He mentioned the rail network from Accra to
Paga, the water problems, energy, many major
road projects in each region, transformation of
agriculture particularly in the Northern
Regions, Afram Plains and others through
investment in machinery, irrigation and dams
as some of the projects that the huge amount
of money could have covered.
He also said the amount could have been used
to build one world class hospital in each
region, buy at least 1,000 ambulances, set up
factories with the private sector across the
country to add value to raw materials and
create jobs, equip existing health and
education institutions with state-of-the-art
facilities as well as build an additional 600 of
the Senior High Schools the government is
currently trying to build.
Over-Priced Projects
According to Dr Bawumia, the reason why he
insists the NDC government is attempting to
hoodwink Ghanaians with claims of massive
infrastructural investments is that “Most of
these projects are over-priced as a result of
the single source procurement method, which
has become the procurement method of
choice for this government, as we saw in the
SADA, GYEEDA, Karpowership, SMARTTYS bus
branding, etc.”
He articulated, “I would like to see for example
explanation from the government quantity
surveyors of the costing on the Kumasi airport
runway for $23.8 million. However, you and I
know that they would not explain because they
cannot explain.”
He said all previous governments, especially
the NPP, undertook infrastructural projects
but the NDC is making it look like it has done
what nobody did, saying, “The real fact is that
the NDC has no real achievements to point to
outside the undertaking of some projects;
hence, their resort to mediocrity.”
Pertinent Questions
Dr Bawumia also said infrastructural
investment was not supposed to be for its own
sake but to increase productivity and
production in the economy. “If you have
indeed undertaken massive and unprecedented
infrastructural investment, then why is the
economy collapsing?
“Why is the NHIS in trouble? Why is
unemployment on the increase? Why are
businesses collapsing? Why is agricultural
growth stagnant? Why is manufacturing growth
negative? Why is the government having
difficulty meeting statutory payments? Why the
high interest rates? Why the massive exchange
rate depreciations? Why are the SADA guinea
fowls flying to Burkina Faso? Why the massive
increase in utility prices? Why the withdrawal
of teacher and nursing training allowances?
Why all this suffering in the land?” he asked.

Source : ghanaweb

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