UG Economist Scores Gov’t 70%

THE NEW Patriotic Party (NPP) Government has received a 70 percent approval rating from a University of Ghana’s (UG’s) Economics Professor, for its performance with respect to managing the Ghanaian economy.

Dr. Priscilla Twumasi-Baffour whilst contributing to a discussion organized by Joy FM yesterday to assess the performance of the current Government, lauded the NPP administration headed by President Akufo-Addo.

The seasoned economist scored the current administration 70 percent for its performance in managing key macroeconomic indicators such as economic growth and interest rates, performance of different sectors of the economy and initiatives taken by the government.

She observed that non oil growth in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the economy was also not doing badly at all.

According to her, “currently we are operating under the extended credit facility under the World Bank which we subscribed to in 2015.”

Dr. Twumasi-Baffour explained that “under the programme, we were struggling because we needed to stabilize the macroeconomic environment, we needed credibility for policy and support essentially the significant depreciation of the cedi at that time.”

She added that “when you look at the GDP trajectory at that time, in 2014, we grew at 4%, 2015 we grew at 3.8% and in 2016 we grew at 3.7%. Coming to the NPP era, in 2017 growth was 8.4% and the projected growth for the end of 2018 is 6.3%. So looking at these numbers I will say that we are on the right course.”

She, however, underscored the need for government to be more disciplined in spending in post-International Monetary Fund (IMF).

She stressed that “we will have to be more disciplined to consolidate the gains that have been made so that we don’t run back to the IMF to bail us out, in terms of the President’s own Ghana beyond aid description, taking our own destiny into our own hands and managing our affairs well”

Dr. Twumasi-Baffour urged government to address the revenue shortfalls and the fiscal slippages and cautioned against being over-ambitious in revenue target and based on that, go out spending.

The Minister for Monitoring, Professor George Yaw Gyan-Baffour who also joined in the discussion responded to why the promised 51 factories as of the end of 2017 have not been achieved.

“When the government said it is going to start 51 factories, it was not said that at the end of the year you can go and the factories will be producing…,” he explained.  He added that the factories “do not go up overnight.”

Professor Gyan-Baffour said “You start with identifying where to put up the factory, you need to have access to road, ensure electricity supply and even sometimes import raw materials”.

He added that these variables may be what are making people worried but the government is determined to achieve the project and will do the same.

“I am sure within the next two years; you will see some of these factories running. I do not think it is something that cannot be achieved,” he added.