Ghana’s gross domestic product (GDP), notwithstanding the discovery of oil, has only increased from $28.5 billion in 2008 to a projected $40 billion in 2016, a 40 percent increase in eight years, according to the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
In its analysis of the country’s performance under President John Dramani Mahama, the NPP stated: “In fact, between 2012 and 2016, i.e. during John Mahama’s tenure as president, the economy, in dollar terms, shrunk by 5 percent.”
The NPP said under the NDC, GDP per capita has recorded a growth of 17 percent from $1,266 in 2008 to a projected $1,481 in 2016 with oil revenues.
“Under John Mahama’s tenure as president (2012-2016), GDP per capita has declined by 12 percent. Under NPP on the other hand, GDP per capita recorded a growth of 187 percent in eight years (from $440 to $1,266) without oil revenues. While the NPP increased per capita incomes by $826 during its term, the NDC, with 12 times more resources, has increased per capita incomes by only $215.
“This is essentially the difference between competent economic management and incompetent economic management. It also tells us that fundamentally, the country’s problem is not about resources. Our problem is the mismanagement, incompetent and corrupt use of our resources.”
The NPP said in dollar terms, under the NDC, the minimum wage declined from $2.12 to $2.02 by 2016 (i.e. 4.6 percent). Between 2012 and 2016, the minimum wage in dollar terms declined by 23.6 percent.
It revealed that Ghana’s food import bill has increased dramatically from US$600 million in 2008 to $2.1 billion in 2015. Rice imports, for example, has risen by 52 percent from 395,400 metric tonnes in 2008 to over 600,000 metric tonnes in 2015.
The NPP also said the country’s economy has had to endure five years of power outages (dumsor), with deeply debilitating consequences for the economy, indicating that government was cash-strapped and unable to meet its obligations to suppliers of gas from Nigeria.
It also said electricity tariffs in Ghana were now amongst the highest in the world due to high taxes and corrupt procurement of power generation.
Agric extension challenges
Furthermore, it mentioned that agricultural extension service was on its knees with inadequate personnel and resources, adding that there had been a freeze on the hiring of extension officers under the Mahama-led NDC government.