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Bawumia Must Clarify Cost of Re-Denomination – Economist

An Economist, Dr. John Gatsi, says he sees nothing wrong with the challenge thrown at the Vice Presidential Candidate of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia, by President Mahama on a campaign platform, to disclose the cost of the cedi redenomination exercise undertaken in 2007.

President Mahama during a rally in the Ablekuma North Constituency on Tuesday, asked Dr. Bawumia to reveal the cost of the exercise, saying since the latter was the Deputy Bank of Ghana at the time, he should be able to let Ghanaians know the actual cost of the exercise.

His comments did not sit down well with Dr. Bawumia, who in a sharp rebuttal on Facebook, said the President’s request was fueled by propaganda and a “demonstration of incompetence.”

But speaking on Eyewitness News, the Economist backed President Mahama’s call, saying a response by Dr. Bawumia who has been out of government several years ago, will promote transparency and bring closure to the matter.

“This is not the first time Dr. Bawumia has been questioned about the cost of the redonimation.

For transparency and credibility or trying to provide your willingness of trying to be accountable to the people of Ghana, I think Dr. Bawumia should just go ahead and say that yes; I spearheaded the process and this was the amount that was involved….What is wrong at this point in time for Dr. Bawumia to say this is the amount that I spent on it, that is very important.”

He further intimated that, Bawumia’s position as the Vice Presidential Candidate of the NPP requires him to come clear on the issue.

“… I think the point that should interest all of us is that the redenomination was a very important project especially within the Central Bank that affected us as a country. We also have said several times that Dr. Bawumia was said to have spearheaded that process and is one of the achievements that have been mentioned about his work within the Central Bank; and now that he has taken public office as a Vice Presidential candidate, I think that the best that can be done is that he comes clear on it.”

But a member of Parliament’s Finance Committee, Kwaku Kwarteng, described as unnecessary the request for Dr. Bawumia to come clear on the cost of the exercise, saying the President can easily have access to that information from the Bank of Ghana if he wishes to have it.

He said the President’s request smacks of incompetence. Kwaku Kwarteng further wondered why the President was making such a request when the information was already in the public domain.

“It is completely an unnecessary question but I think it reflects the incompetence of this government because the information the President calls a secret is actually in the public domain.”

He observed that “on the 6th of November 2007, during the delivery of the monetary policy report, this matter came up in the Daily Graphic and it was widely discussed by many media houses” adding that the auditors account is available” for the President’s perusal.

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