11:42, 10.Oct 2016
The main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) is painting Ghana as a country in crisis so as to win the 7 December polls, President John Mahama has said.
"If somebody says the country is going back, then I can’t understand. I can't think far. I can't think madness. But I know that it is propaganda because I have been a student of history, I have been a student of communications, I have been a student of social psychology, and, so, when you want to win power, you have to create a series of crisis like the country is collapsing, and it is not only happening in Ghana, it is happening in other parts of the world," President Mahama said to students of the University of Ghana on Thursday to wrap up his tour of the Greater Accra Region.
"They have created the impression that the economy is in crisis. Moody's comes and upgrades us and says there is more confidence in Ghana's economy. We've grown from negative to stable and then somebody who calls himself an economist can stand and say there was no Moody's upgrade. I can't think far, I can't think far, you know. So we are moving forward," he said.
Just recently, President Mahama said Dr Mahamudu Bawumia lied when he said a recent Moody's review of Ghana’s economy was not an upgrade. The vice-presidential nominee of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) said contrary to claims by officialdom, led by Mr Mahama, that Moody’s had upgraded Ghana’s economy, the international rating agency has not done anything of the sort.
Speaking at the launch of the NPP's 2016 manifesto at the International Trade Fair Centre in Accra on Sunday, 9 October, Dr Bawumia had said Ghana's sovereign credit rating got downgraded to (B-) under President Mahama despite having oil revenue at his disposal, from (B) positive (without oil under the NPP).
Moody's Investors Service recently affirmed the country's issuer and senior unsecured rating at B3 and changed the outlook to stable from negative.
Dr Bawumia, however, noted that nothing had changed except the revised outlook. He said, in fact, international rating agencies like Moody's, Fitch, and Standard & Poor’s now have basically the same credit rating for Ghana.
"The recent revision of Ghana's outlook from B- negative to B- stable; that is the equivalent of B3" with the revision of the outlook from negative to stable, "has resulted in a misinterpretation by this NDC government and President Mahama that Ghana's credit rating has been upgraded."
"This is in fact not the case. Moody's did not upgrade Ghana. Ghana's rating under Moody's is still B-. It is only the outlook that has been revised and that is not equivalent to a change in rating or a rating upgrade,” Dr Bawumia said.
"Sometimes one wonders whether they don't read or they don't understand. So, let me give Mr President a free piece of advice: 'Mr President, please desist from embarrassing yourself by stating that Moody’s has upgraded Ghana.' Your economic management team should explain that difference to you.
"The Mo Ibrahim 2016 report on governance shows that on virtually all key development indicators such as safety, rule of law, human rights, economic opportunities, infrastructure, business environment, human development, health and public management, Ghana is worse off today than it was 10 years ago,".
His comments were in response to Mr Mahama's assertion that the recent review of Ghana's economic outlook was proof that "we're doing something right".
Upon his return to Accra Wednesday night after his trip to France, Mr Mahama told journalists at the Kotoka International Airport that: "In my absence we were pleased to hear that Moody's credit rating agency has upgraded Ghana. It shows that we are doing something right and we are pleased about the way things are happening. Let us continue to work together as one nation, let's believe in ourselves, and I believe that more than the sky is the limit.
"Our country is respected in the international community, and everybody recognises that. Ghana is rising, Ghana is doing well."
Responding to Dr Bawumia's recent claims, President Mahama told party supporters at a rally in Afienya in the Ningo Prampram constituency in the Greater Accra Region on Wednesday, 12 October, that: "This economy is stabilising. The international community and everybody else recognises that Ghana has bright economic prospects. The cedi is one of the best performing currencies in Africa this year in terms of stability and Moody's has come out to upgrade Ghana's economy and moved us from (B-) negative to (B-) stable and yet somebody who calls himself an economist can lie that Moody’s has not upgraded Ghana."