Accra, March 1, GNA – Mr Fiifi Kwetey, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning on Wednesday said President John Evans Atta Mills had achieved for Ghana within the space of three years what the New Patriotic Party (NPP) could not achieve for eight years. He said despite the GH? 35 billion cedis arrears and the debilitating economy left behind by NPP, President Mills and his team was able to pay off the arrears and put the economy back to its feet. Mr Kwetey was speaking at a press conference organised by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Forum For Setting the Records Straight, a Communication Team within the party to correct the distortions by the opposition and tell the success story of President Mills. He said: “Over the last three years, the Forum has observed with some amusement frantic efforts by the NPP and its apologists to create the impression that the President Mills Government has failed to perform and live up to expectation. Mr Kwetey said NPP left behind an unprecedented 14.5 per cent deficit and astronomical arrears of GH? 35 billion, “therefore, could we begin to imagine the magnitude of the mess the NPP would have left if they had faced the mega crisis the NDC faced in the 2000”? “The Forum wishes to applaud the brilliant efforts that continue to be deployed by various government and party spokespersons to straighten these many distortions,” he said. The Deputy Minister said with immediate effect, the NDC Forum For Setting The records Straight would start lending its full support to the many efforts that had been made to date to correct the many deliberate distortions of the NPP. “We will also embark on a journey of comprehensively telling the story of the President Mill’s Government’s accomplishments,” he added. Mr Kwetey who was the Former Propaganda Secretary of the NDC said President Mills could have done a lot if it had not been the GH?35 billion arrears that he had to pay off. “With 35 trillion (Old Ghana Cedis) President Mills would have additionally delivered any of the following – 12,500 (six-class room blocks) which translate into 74 of such classroom blocks for every district, 43,750 Community Health Preventive Systems (257 clinics per district). “Rural electrification in 9,000 communities that would have provided electricity for 4.5 million people, 1.3 million kilometres of feeder roads (7625 Km of feeder roads for every district, 290,000 plus boreholes, and 200 million cedis promised as seed money for Savannah Accelerated Development Authority could have been provided 17 times over,” he explained. Mr Kwetey said when NPP came into office they lied about inheriting a fast falling currency in 2001 and they also claimed they inherited a collapsed economy and cited the year 2000 end period inflation which stood at 40 per cent, the depreciation of the cedi in the year 2000 as some of the main evidences and capped it all by saying that they had inherited a HIPC economy. “We have in the past explained that if the NPP had faced a fraction of the economic crisis the (former) President Rawlings led NDC faced in the second half of 1999 and 2000, the deficit they would have left for Ghana and the arrears they would have bequeathed upon leaving office would have been impossible to compute. “NPP’s so called 2008 crisis was by comparison a mini crisis. In 1999 to 2000, the then NDC faced a collapse in both cocoa and gold prices and simultaneous skyrocketing increase in crude oil price ( which at its height reached 153 per cent, compared with the 100 per cent the NPP faced in 2008. “Besides, when NPP talks about 40 per cent end period inflation in the year 2000, what they conveniently fail to add is that average inflation in the year 2000 in spite of the mega crisis stood at 25 per cent. Average inflation in 2003, two clear years after the NPP took over, stood at 27 per cent worse than the crisis year figure,” he added. Mr Kwetey said through a combination of prudent and astute fiscal and monetary policies, the President Mills Economic Team set about restoring sanity and consolidation into economy. “Arduous though it was, the results started showing by July of 2009. Both inflation and the rate of depreciation which from January to June had shown negative trends turned the corner in July for the first time. “Inflation which by June 2009 had reached a peak of 20.74, inched down to 20.5 per cent. The cedi, which from January to June 2009 had suffered a rapid monthly depreciation of about three per cent, slowed down considerably to 0.9 per cent in July,” he added.
Source: Ghana News Agency