World Bank report not chastisement of NPP– Nduom

Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom

The recent World Bank report on Ghana’s economy is not a chastisement of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration, Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom has said.

According to Dr. Nduom the report was meant to alert the new administration of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to the state of the Ghanaian economy.

The World Bank Country Director, Ishac Diwan recently wrote to the new administration alerting it to the economic state of Ghana. The report was seen by some NPP members as an attack on the records of the party that just handed over power.

However, Dr. Kwesi Botchwey, who served as Ghana’s Finance Minister for 13 years says, there is no point blaming the World Bank for stating a fact. He quipped “there is no point shooting the messenger.”

He said, what is important is for both the government and opposition to work together to look for the right economic policy mix that would address the country’s economic needs in the face of the current global financial meltdown, which has the potential to bite harder into Ghana’s economy.

Dr. Nduom said the Mills’ administration would face challenges such as wages and salaries, domestic debt and raising revenue in its first year.

Dr. Nduom was speaking on a TV3 news bulletin monitored by Saturday January 17, 2009.

In his opinion, President Mills’ ability to rally the entire nation behind him would be essential in dealing with the economic situation.

He referred to internal debts of the Tema Oil Refinery, VRA, the Water Company, contractors that have not been paid and the Electricity Company’s debt.

He said, “there are going to be challenges faced by the new administration. Number one would be wages and salaries for public sector workers, the issue of equity, the issue of how much to pay, and the ability of government to shoulder the demand.”

Dr. Nduom said the ability of the new administration to raise the revenue to deal with the promises that it had made would be tested, asking that “if already we are facing challenges, then where is it going to find the resources?”

He called for an all inclusive approach. “The ability of Prof. Mills and his administration to get all of Ghana to believe that we are in this together, that this is a unified country, one people and that he is working to build a unified society,” he said, “that alone will override any single policy that it is going to be able to implement.”

Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom who stood as presidential candidate of the Convention Peoples’ Party (CPP) in the December 2008 elections, said he is working hard to build a strong CPP on the ground to provide a viable alternative to the NDC and the NPP.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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