Former President John Dramani Mahama has called on the Akufo-Addo government to apologise to Ghanaians for “deceiving” them into believing the New Patriotic Party was not going to borrow once it won the 2016 elections and formed a government.
Mr. Mahama’s comment comes on the heels of a statement made by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the 2018 Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum in Lagos, Nigeria over the weekend, where he said his government will borrow money because everybody borrows.
“Many developed nations borrow, America and all other countries borrow and use it wisely. We’re not taking aid from China”, President Akufo-Addo said.
While in opposition, the then-candidate of the NPP, Nana Akufo-Addo, now president; and his then-running mate, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, now Vice-President, said Ghana has all the resources she needs to develop, and, therefore, there was no need for the then-Mahama government to borrow.
Addressing delegates of the Trobu constituency to kick-start his five-day campaign tour of the Greater Accra Region, Mr. Mahama, who is one of 12 flag bearer aspirants of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), advised the government to stop the “hypocrisy,” eat humble pie, and apologise to Ghanaians.
He said every government needs to borrow to invest in assets. He, however, cautioned the government against over-borrowing.
Mr. Mahama said: “When we criticise them [NPP], they don’t understand. The problem is not that something is bad, nobody ever said borrowing is bad. When we were in government, we didn’t say borrowing is bad, you borrow to invest in assets and everyone knows that, and when we were in government, we borrowed to invest in assets, we built hospitals, we built roads, we built interchanges, we extended electricity, we provided water, we expanded the port, we did all these projects, it was they [NPP], who said borrowing is bad.
“So, when Ghanaians are criticising you today, it is because of what you said in the past, it is the hypocrisy that Ghanaians are angry with, and we’ve all your quotations about borrowing. You said: ‘Any idiot can borrow’. That’s what you said. And said: ‘The money is here, we don’t need to borrow to develop Ghana’. And today, if you have turned around and you see that you can borrow and invest in assets, you have to apologise to Ghanaians, and say: ‘We are sorry, we didn’t know, now we know, we’ll borrow’. But when you behave as if we are idiots, we don’t remember what you said and you say: ‘We’ll borrow because even the U.S.A is borrowing, of course, U.S. is borrowing, and so what? So, it is the hypocrisy of this government that is annoying Ghanaians and not that we don’t understand that you must borrow but you must not also over-borrow…”