Dr Smart Sarpong, a senior research fellow at the Kumasi Technical University (KTU), has said that it is completely erroneous to blame the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, over the current economic difficulties engulfing the country.
Speaking during an appearance on Kumasi-based Fox Morning Drive, the governance expert said the Vice President is blameless over the economic situation because he did not constitute the Economic Management Team (EMT) that he’s forced to work with.
According to Dr Sarpong, aside from Bawumia, every other person on the team was appointed by the President and the blame lies with their woeful performances and not the Vice President.
“People are saying all sorts of things against Dr. Bawumia but let me put it on record that the team [Economic Management Team] headed by the Vice President, had the members selected and constituted by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and given to him [Dr. Bawumia] to work with,” he said.
“The Finance Minister was appointed by Nana Akufo-Addo, and the Governor of the Bank of Ghana is also appointed by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. All the Ministers constituting EMT were somebody’s selection and given to Dr. Bawumia to work with them,” Dr. Smart Sarpong pointed out.
According to Sarpong, the Vice President would probably like to replace some members of the EMT, but he lacks the power to do so.
“He didn’t make the selection. The selection was made by someone and that person who is the President is not ready to change the people so we can’t blame Dr. Bawumia,” Dr. Smart Sarpong added.
Wrong Place, Wrong Time
Prior to taking office, there had been no question about the economic genius of Vice President Bawumia, yet the NPP government, after a brilliant start, appear to have sputtered, particularly within the past year.
How can that be, with noted economic whizkid Dr Bawumia on the Economic Management Team?
Aside Dr Sarpong’s astute observations above, a senior Ghanaian journalist, Omanhene Kwabena Asante, recently revealed that the Vice President’s advice on economic issues are routinely ignored.
Speaking on Ekosii Sen on Asempa Fm, Asante opined that the Vice President has given sage economic advice at every step of the way but continues to be routinely ignored by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta and other members of the EMT.
Omanhene said Dr Bawumia has become a victim of circumstances – ie his economic genius is being tainted due to the actions of other people.
“Behind the scenes, a lot is happening that cannot be said publicly. If we are allowed to say what is really going on between Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and [Finance Minister] Ken Ofori-Atta and the economic management team, [many troubling] things have transpired and continue to transpire,” he said in Twi on the program on Asempa Fm.
He added: “Even at yesterday’s meeting, a lot happened. We can give updates but it will be very unfair on our part to spill some of these secrets and dig Ghana into a deeper hole. The truth is that Dr Bawumia, unfortunately, continues to be a victim of circumstances.
“Unfortunately, he would not speak up to defend himself, and he would never do so. But in politics, we have the good, the bad and the ugly. Unfortunately for Dr Bawumia, he has fallen into the category where all Ghanaians believe the economic downturn, and cedi depreciation and other issues are all the cause of his policies but I can confidently tell you that is not the case.”
Gradually, a picture is emerging of dysfunction in the government in regards to following the path recommended by Bawumia, a proven economist with a stellar track record, as against those considered the President’s ‘men’.
As Ghanaians currently suffer, one can only wonder what might have been if those in charge actually listened to wisdom. Bawumia, after all, has proven his competence with the stunning digital drive which has completely thrust Ghana into the future, ahead of all her peers!