Frank Agyekum, spokesperson for former President John Agyekum Kufuor, has entreated Ghanaians to ignore claims by the Minister for Transport, Fifi Kwetey, that the New Patriotic Party under former President Kufuor ran a cocaine economy.
According to Frank Agyekum, the NPP under former President Kufuor rather turned the economy around after inheriting a tattered and highly indebted economy from the National Democratic Congress.
In a statement posted on his Facebook wall, he said the economy would have grounded to a halt had it not been for the swift intervention and pragmatic policies put in place by the NPP after the international community had lost faith in Ghana.
Mr Agyekum was reacting to claims by the Transport Minister that the NDC had better managed the economy compared to the NPP
He disclosed that the NPP government had to pay $32m in charges to the IMF before they would open their doors to Ghana again after the previous NDC government had distorted the country’s economic figures to the Fund and the international community.
He added that the NPP, after inheriting a Highly Indebted and Poor Country from the NDC, ushered Ghana into a Middle-Income earning country by 2007, a feat the NDC wanted to achieve in 2020.
Mr Agyekum observed that the NDC, after almost eight years in office, instead of improving on all the good programmes and social interventions introduced by former President Kufuor, had rather collapsed them, rendering the economy “stagnated under over-borrowing and irrational taxation of the private sector.”
He continued, “Apart from growing the economy on all fronts, the NPP government had introduced new paradigm shifts in the economy that eased the suffering of the people and made Ghana the toast of developing nations. This it achieved without violating or in way compromising the basic human rights of the citizenry, or the rule of law of the nation.
“There was the National Health Insurance Scheme; the School Feeding Programme; Free public bus rides for school pupils and the elderly; the Livelihood Empowerment programme which catered for the indigent in society; Free maternal care for women; Free school fees at the primary level, including pre-school, among others,” Mr Agyekum stated.
He further clarified that Ghana under President Kufuor was able to wean itself from IMF/World Bank control, as all mature economies seek to do allowing it to secure a $750m Eurobond loan from the international capital market, first time in the country’s history.
“Cocoa production reached a record high of 750, 000 tonnes with the projection of reaching one million tonnes by 2010. This is what the NDC inherited. Alas for our nation, they have since not been able to sustain cocoa production as the annual yield has been plummeting,” he revealed, arguing that NPP achieved all these and more, even before the country discovered oil in commercial quantities in 2006/7.
“How an economy that between December 2000 and December 2008, without oil, grew steadily from 3.7% to 9.1% could be said to have performed worse than one which after declining to 4.8% in 2009, shot up to 7.7% in 2010 and 14% in 2011 following the onset of oil production but has then declined steadily and drastically to 3.9% in 2015, should beat the imagination of any objective and well- meaning observer,” he stressed.
In a related development, a member of the NPP communications team, John Kumah, has accused the governing NDC of promoting cocaine trade in Ghana.
Mr Kumah who made these comments on The Big Issue on Citi Fm, Saturday, said Fifi Kwetey lacked credibility, and his assertions were entirely untrue.
“You have used the presidency to promote cocaine, and you have the audacity to refer to MV Benjamin which a committee sat and came up to say that the 77 parcels of cocaine was somebody’s figment of imagination and that there was no such thing,” he said.
“What is his [Fifi Kwetey] credibility to raise dead propaganda issues over weightier matters like you have received GHC248b and you have not accounted for it?” he quizzed.
Mr Kumah said the NDC had retrogressed Ghana’s economic fortunes in spite of the firm foundation laid by the NPP before 2009.