Former Finance Minister Seth Tekper has made an honest admission which has vindicated Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia in their clash with him over comparisons of effects of dumsor and Covid-19 on the Ghanaian economy, and governments’ socio-responses.
The controversy was ignited by former President John Mahama, who criticised government’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic, and also added that government going for support to buffer the economy in the midst of the crisis was an indication of a fragile economy, contrary to government’s claim of having built a robust economy.
Vice President Bawumia hit back by making a comparative analysis of effects of two major crises Ghana has faced in the past few years; dumsor and Covid-19 and how the two Presidents which faced them, John Mahama and Nana Akufo-Addo responded to mitigate the effects on Ghanaians and business.
The Vice President’s comparative crises management analysis, and his challenge to former President Mahama to tell Ghanaians how he alleviated the suffering of Ghanaians during dumsor, irked the rank and file of the NDC, who have since launched scathing attacks on the Vice President for comparing the two crises and their effects.
But in a video, recorded on GHOne TV last month before the controversy ensued, the immediate past NDC Finance Minister, Seth Terkper made a candid admission which is not only in agreement with Dr. Bawumia’s position, but one which really vindicates him.
No difference in effects of dumsor and covid 19 on economy.
The program, on GH One TV’s State of Affairs, discussed the impact of crises on economies, and the former Finance Minister took viewers down memory lane to recollect recent crises that have hit Ghana’s economy, naming them as the 2007-2008 global financial crises, the “dumsor” energy crisis and the on-going Coronavirus crises.
Asked by the host whether the current trauma the economy is facing as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic can be compared with the dumsor crisis, Seth Terkper, responded in the affirmative, adding that under each of the crisis, businesses have gone down.
“Let me fast forward between Atta Mills and President Mahama. The main effects you’ll see, like we are seeing now, business was shut because of the power crisis (dumsor) because we were expecting the pipelines to be fixed. In the end, we took a decision for the badges of you remember. So this is how the badge story actually came.”
“So beneath dumsor, there were these real issues and then the investment in 10 field and Sankofa. I am saying businesses went down, employment went down and other things went down.”
The former Finance Minister noted that just as businesses suffered during the dumsor crisis, the Coronavirus is also having an expensive effect on the economy, adding that the effects may be dire if the virus persists as dumsor persisted.
“The difference now is it’s a disease that kept us at home; very expensive. That is the main thing but the effects may be pronounced and we hope that it doesn’t take two and half years like it took to fix the pipeline. There will be an effect on the economy, just as the global financial crisis had an effect.
“First of all if you’ll recall, there was a global financial crisis in 2007 and 2008 (Under Kufuor) so the Mills administration actually was the one to bear the brunt of the effects of the global financial crisis.”
“Then you will recall that during the last campaigning, the pipeline from Nigeria was raptured by pirate ship, which led to VRA buying gas. By then the crude oil price was very high and it disrupted a lot. Short of it was the power crisis but we used one word to christen it, “dumsor”.
“The more important thing is that the world goes through these crises and we have domestic For example when we have drought , we go through this (crisis) because our exports; in that case it is not the outside world which is not buying, but because of our production of cocoa goes down.
“These things happen and we must realize that it will happen again. And therefore, we must build the buffers and this explains why our focus was on the stabilization fund to stabilize the budget. The Mahama administration went to Parliament the first time to take 250 million Cedis; big at the time to help when the crude oil prices fell in 2014.