The Member of Parliament for Bodi and a former Deputy Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Mr Samspon Ahi, has said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has performed badly in the water sector.
He said since the assumption of office of the president some three-and-a-half years ago, Mr Akufo-Addo has not extended water supply to any part of the country.
Unlike the Akufo-Addo administration, he said on the Ghana Yensom show on Accra 100.5FM Wednesday, May 6 that the Mahama administration did a lot of projects in the water sector by extending pipelines to most parts of the country.
These projects done by Mr Mahama, he argued, enabled the Akufo-Addo administration to supply free water to homes, as part of the measures to mitigate the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on Ghanaians.
He was reacting to comments by Vice-President Mahamadu Bawumia that the Mahama administration failed to tackle the ‘dumsor’ crisis well.
Dr Bawumia, on Monday, in a response to Mr Mahama’s comment that COVID-19 has sent the Akufo-Addo government’s oft-touted “resilient” and “robust” economy into the ICU, said President Akufo-Addo is a better manager of crises than his predecessor.
The flag bearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) had said in one of Facebook interactions with Ghanaians that: “Unfortunately, this government has used a lot of propaganda saying the economy has been the best that we have ever had since independence. Unfortunately, just one month of coronavirus the economy is in ICU. If we didn’t run to the IMF for the one billion rapid credit facility, it is possible that in the next month probably salaries would not have been paid and so our economy is on ventilators, and it needs thinking to rescue it from the ICU.”
But speaking at a media interaction after a COVID-19 response team meeting on 4 May 2020, Dr Bawumia noted that: “If you want to test the robustness of an economy, you test it in a time of crises. Thankfully, we’ve had two crises.
“Under the NDC, there was an internally-generated crisis, which was dumsor. Under the Presidency of Nana Akufo-Addo, there’s been an externally-generated crisis, which is the global coronavirus pandemic. I just want you to ask yourselves how have these two crises been managed?
“The dumsor crisis, which crippled this economy for four years, what were the mitigating measures offered to businesses and individuals during dumsor which was an internally generated crisis?
“We saw that even during dumsor, electricity prices were being increased, fuel prices were being increased, teacher training allowances were being cancelled, nurse training allowances were being cancelled; all of that was happening during that particular crisis.”
He continued: “You look at the coronavirus crisis and you look at the difference in terms of what has happened. The President has reduced electricity prices, made it free for lifeline consumers, given free water to all Ghanaians for three months, has made sure there’s a stimulus package of GHS600 million for businesses and we have seen domestic production of PPE for our health workers.
“So, the difference couldn’t be [clear] during a leadership under the crisis of dumsor and under the coronavirus pandemic. So, I ask a simple question: Who will you trust in a time of crisis? The answer, I will say is very clear – Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has shown leadership and concern for ordinary Ghanaians.”
But Mr Ahi told show host Kwabena Prah Jr that: “Let Akufo-Addo and Bawumia show us the single project they did in the water sector. They should just point to one.
“They have no records as far as development projects are concerned”, adding: “All they are doing is to rely on what Mahama did and even rename those projects.”
“Even the president failed to act properly in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. If he had closed the borders earlier than he did, we would probably not be talking about COVID-19 in Ghana today. He has failed and they must accept it.”