Economist and finance senior lecturer, Prof Godfred Bokpin, have raised concerns over the implementation of the numerous promises made by political parties ahead of Election 2020.
The governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) have released their manifestoes chronicling a long list of interventions should they win the December 7 polls.
The two parties are engaged in a hot contest in trying to outdo one another with promises that some critics believe are unrealistic ahead of the election 2020 polls.
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, highlighted revenue dip and challenges in funding projects as resources are committed to tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.
He told Parliament that Ghana had recorded a revenue shortfall of GH¢13.6 billion and an unanticipated “but necessary” expenditures of approximately GH¢11.7 billion due to COVID-19.
As much as 82% of oil revenues, one of the major sources of government funds, were wiped out in the first quarter of 2020 due to the impact of the pathogen.
Amidst the reeling economic impact, there are projections by the World Bank International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Bank of Ghana (BoG) of slow growth in 2021.
With no end of the virus insight, Professor Bokpin has questioned how the political parties would have the room to roll out the fanciful ideas.
“2020 is not going to be like any other year. If you look at how the promises are made, it is as though we are not in Covid-19 times or it will disappear in December with the elections. Ghana’s economic recoveries will go beyond four years,” he stated on Joy TV’s Newsfile on Saturday, September 12.
He highlighted that there was “practically no fiscal space to accommodate these excessive promises, and, therefore, there is a high propensity that politicians are out there to deceive Ghanaians for votes,” he argued.
“The two political parties (NPP and NDC) have tasted power and we have seen how their promises get translated through the budget.
“Due to the numerous promises that are made, they try to find a way to pass their promises through the budget but it has been very difficult,” he explained.
The government has devised a smart way to raise revenue of $1bn through the Agyapa Royalties deal approved by parliament, but a stiff opposition from the minority CSOs and others have put the execution on ice.
The government was targeting to use the funds for mineral sector developments rather than borrowing.