The Minority Spokesperson on Finance, James Klutse Avedzi has questioned President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s failure to speak on the depreciating cedi in his 2019 State of the Nation Address in Parliament on Thursday.
In a reaction after the presentation, Mr. Avedzi said it was worrying that President Akufo-Addo did not tell Ghanaians how he was going to arrest the falling value of the cedi.
“And the president completely avoided the talk about the performance of the cedi, I have never heard the president said the cedi is depreciating at the low pace, he never talked about it. So he completely avoided it,” Mr. Avedzi said whilst reacting to the address in a radio interview with Accra based Joy FM.
To Mr. Avedzi, President Akufo-Addo avoided the talk about the cedi, “because he [Akufo-Addo] knew that the cedi is depreciating at a faster rate that he doesn’t feel comfortable talking about it and that is why the President didn’t mention it at all in his state of the nation address,” he said.
“This is something that the president must talk about because it is very important to the businessman, the president should tell us what he is going to do to arrest the fall of the value of the cedi, he didn’t talk about it.
“So as we speak now, the cedi is running over Ghc5.27, so what will it be at the end of the year or the middle of the year, what is the president going to do to ensure that the value of the cedi is stable. I am not impressed and we will come with the debate on it from Tuesday,“ he added.
Touching on GDP, Mr Avedzi disagreed with President Akufo-Addo’s position that Ghana was doing her best ever and said, “within two years, we have borrowed as a country over Ghc50 billion, the President decided to use the re-based numbers to calculate debt to GDP ratio, and where he says that the debt to GDP ratio has dropped from 57 percent to 54 percent, so that is what he decided to do, to use the rebased figure.”
Adding, he said he disagreed with the President completely.
“We were here when we borrowed 2.25 billion from Franklin Templeton which was a foreign borrowing because it was denominated in dollars and then yet we applied a local rate of 19.75 percent, that cannot be borrowing with the low-interest rate.”