National Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress, Sammy Gyamfi, says the assertion that covid-19 is the reason for Ghana’s ailing economy is unfounded.
According to him, the pandemic had merely exposed Ghana’s already challenged economy.
He argues that the signs of the country’s failing economy were visible long before the advent of covid-19 and hence, the pandemic cannot be blamed for the current economic situation the country is facing.
Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, he stated that the first indicator to how poorly managed the country’s economy was, was the cedi’s depreciation prior to covid-19.
“Before covid our economy was already in a bad state. I am not saying it, the facts show clearly that Ghana’s economy showed signs of serious challenges before covid and Mr. Pierre Laporte, the Country Director of the World Bank is on public record to have stated so.
“Before covid, the cedi had depreciated by over 14% in 2019. In fact, if you read paragraph 61 of the NPP’s own Mid-Year Budget, Ken Ofori-Atta on behalf of President Akufo-Addo says ‘that in the year to December 2019 (that was before covid), the Ghana cedi cumulatively depreciated by 12.9% against the US dollar compared with 8.4% depreciation in 2018. Against the British Pound and Euro, the Ghana cedi cumulatively depreciated by 15.7% and 12.2% respectively.’
“So even before covid our cedi was depreciating at a very alarming rate. Bear in mind that the cedi depreciated by only 9.6% in 2016 when Bawumia and the NPP claimed that the fundamentals of our economy were weak and that is why the cedi was depreciating at 9.6%.
“Now you record an alarming depreciation rate of over 14% in 2019 before covid. So much so that President Akufo-Addo had to set up a 40-member committee to investigate the reasons for the depreciation of the economy. Had we recorded covid-19 at that time? The answer is no, so covid is not the reason for our weak national currency,” he argued.