Kojo Oppong Nkrumah – Flawed and Massaged Data can have devastating consequences on the Economy


Dear Hon. Misinformation Minister,

Data is the lifeblood of state government. It’s the crucial commodity that’s necessary to manage projects, avoid scandals and fraud, keep the books and deliver service efficiently. There have been questions for the past two years about whether your government’s statistics were telling the full story but recent controversies and revisions and release of statements coming from the managers of economy have taken those concerns to new height.

The Finance Minister himself has admitted that Ghana is broke. Economists and investors are now using alternative sources of data and in some cases creating their own benchmarks to measure the Ghanaian economy.

The preliminary evidence from the real index available, which includes certain crucial components suggests that your government has overestimated GDP growth. Your government suppressed job data and massaged economic growth numbers in an attempt to show that the administration has done better than the previous administration.

Your government treats GDP, or GDP per capita in some cases, as an all encompassing unit to signify Ghana’s development, combining our economic prosperity and societal well being. It’s time to bury that primitive concept of putting out fake economic figures and acknowledge the limitations of these fake GDP figures and expand our measure development so that it takes into account our society’s quality of life.

Mr Minister, when our measure of development go beyond an inimical fixation towards higher production, our policy interventions will become more aligned with the aspects of life that Ghanaians truly value, and the Ghanaian society will be well served.

Mr Minister, you know that when information is wrong, we take incorrect decisions and could have a wrong picture about the economy. Your government has failed abysmally and cannot make better accurate decisions because of this inaccurate financial reporting. Your information on the economy fails to capture the distribution of income across society, something that is becoming more pertinent in today’s world with rising inequality levels in the developed and developing world alike. You need to account for these crucial issues when assessing development to curb the rising discontentment and increased disenchantment in the country.

Mr Minister, you now adding the number of cabinet meetings held by your government to your achievements? Isn’t that interesting! It is time to take Ghanaians especially, those who voted for you seriously and work towards their betterment. We’ve had enough of your 13th century political comedies.

Mr Minister, I hold nothing against your person. Until recently, I was one of your top admirers and rushed to my radio and stayed glued to it whenever I hear your voice. My worry is why you’ve allowed yourself to be used as conveyor of this administration’s bogus information. The truth is that – Ghanaians hope that Akufo-Addo’s defeat would help revitalize our ailing economy. If you ask the average Ghanaian, ‘Are you better off than you were three years ago’? the answer would be no. There has been huge job losses, businesses are collapsing, corruption is at its apex, nepotism all over, the cedi is suffocating and prices of goods skyrocketing. Unbridled looting of state resources by cronies, family members, ex-wives, family members and appointees of the President killing the economy. We always here you mention those beautiful figures without telling us how those figures were achieved. Your government recorded an amount of $463,569,064.38 in petroleum revenue in 2018. PIAC indicated in its report that carried interest yielded the revenue of $168.575,887.49 percent of the total revenue followed by royalties, $151,754,754.45 which represented 39 percent and additional participating interest of $69,685,300.69 representing 18 percent.

The report revealed that an amount of $203,102,174.08 was deposited in the PHF from the jubilee proceeds, $134,567,820.03 from the TEN Field and $63,030,602.08 from the Sankofa Gye Nyame Field. An amount of $277.79 million was made to the Ghana Petroleum Fund which comprised the Ghana Stabilisation and Ghana Heritage Funds. The stabilisation Fund which was established by the Mahama administration to cushion the country when there is an anticipated shortfall in petroleum revenue, received $71.51million in 2017 , five times more than the $13.51 million allocation given in 2016.

The Ghana Heritage Fund which serves as an endowment for future generation which cannot be touched unless after 15 years of its establishment, received $30.64 million in the first half of 2017, up from almost $6 million allocated in the same period in 2016. The GNPC in 2017 received $90 million ( the highest). The various and other components of the other revenue sources recorded rise in the first half of 2017 because of the prudent investment and policies by the Mahama administration.

Mr Minister, are you sure Ghanaians are benefiting from your bogus figures? The IMF and other institutions projected that our economy will grow by 7-8% between 2017 -2018 because of the investments the last administration made in the oil and gas sector. I am daring you to mention one major project or investment made in the various sectors which contributed to the growth recorded. Revenue accrued from Investments made by the previous administration is what your administration is using to support its flagship programmes. What about the new and renovated schools, the roads, hospitals, renovated new and rehabilitated airports, the shoe, fish and sugar factories built by the previous administration? I hope Mr Minister knows the impact of infrastructure on economic development.

Mr Minister, in politics, trust can mean the difference between a great relationship and a dysfunctional one. The erosion of trust can have significant psychological impact , and that trust is based on an expectation of honesty. Bye!

Source: Ohenenana Obonti Krow

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