The vice presidential nominee of the New Patriotic Party(NPP), Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has challenged the infrastructural achievements of the ruling National Democratic Congress(NDC) under the Mahama led administration.
According to the renowned economist cum politician, the government has borrowed 39 billion dollars in eight years where as the sum total cost of infrastructure expenditure undertaken by this government from loans, grants and taxes from 2009 to date is less than 7 billion dollars.
“The Mahama government has touted its achievements in the last eight years in its green book in the area of its infrastructure. They’ve built roads, water projects, hospitals, schools and so on. The question however for most Ghanaians, is that if this government has increased Ghana’s debt from 9.5 billion cedis to 100.5 billion cedis so far; can they point to an equivalent value of projects? Unfortunately and sadly the answer is no.
“The government is attempting to hoodwink Ghanaians by claiming a massive increase in infrastructure investments. First, if you sum the total cost of infrastructure expenditure undertaken by this government from loans, grants and taxes from 2009 to date, it is less than 7 billion dollars. Meanwhile the government has borrowed the equivalent of some 39 billion dollars. So where is the rest of the money?”
Making reference to the prices of two projects constructed under the NPP and NDC respectively, Dr. Bawumia bemoaned the overpricing of contracts, corruption and the absence of value for money in relation to the construction of projects.
“Indeed, according to the Managing Director of the IMF Christine Lagarde, most of Ghana’s borrowing has been used for consumption and not for investment. The overpricing of contracts, corruption and the absence of value for money considerations are partly responsible for this. I saw two identical teachers’ bungalows at the Dambai Teacher Training College this year.
“One constructed under the NPP in 2007, and the other under the NDC in 2011. The one constructed by the NPP cost 195,000 Ghana Cedis, and the one by the NDC cost 900, 000 cedis. It’s the same building, the same design and specification on the same land.
“So what accounts for this huge difference? Another example is the runway rehabilitation at the Kumasi Airport which cost 23.8 million dollars; whereas the proposed new Airport with runway and buildings and everything is going to cost $225 million dollars. It is on record that Ethiopia is building its Shire Airport at the cost of 21 million dollars.”
Dr. Bawumia made these assertions at a public lecture dubbed “The State of the Ghanaian Economy – A Foundation of Concrete or Straw” at the National Theater yesterday.