Former President John Mahama has said President Nana Akufo-Addo is scheming to leave dumsor behind for his successor.
Ghana is currently experiencing an erratic power supply due to a $19 million debt owed to the West African Pipeline Company (WAPCo). Deputy Energy Minister Andrew Egyapa Mercer recently said the government has paid $13 million of the debt and in talks with WAPCo to agree on a payment plan for the balance of $6 million.
Speaking at Sogakope in the Volta Region during his “Building Ghana Tour”, Mr. Mahama said: “Today ‘dumsor’, they’re treating it like a football because he wants to kick it over the 7th January 2025 line and hand the trouble over to somebody else, and yet we resolved it before they came into office.”
Mr Mahama also condemned the government’s decision to tax electricity consumers.
“Today, they’ve put Value Added Tax on electricity bills. And COVID levy, NHIL levy, GETFUND Levy are all on electricity bills, and so that’s going to send the cost of your electricity bill up. Already, there was a 29 percent increase, there was a 19 percent increase, then they tried to fool us with a 4% increase, and now it’s going up again astronomically”, Mr. Mahama decried.
“It’s making Ghana a very difficult place to do business. All business people are complaining. The owner of this hotel who has given us this resort to do this thing, you should ask him how much he’s paying in utility bills. And yet, because of the mismanagement by the President and his cousin and his Vice President, it has plunged all of us into a difficult situation where they have pledged to the IMF [International Monetary Fund] to raise as much revenue as they can,” the former president noted.
“And the point is, while you are raising revenue reduce your expenditure because that’s what any sane reasonable person does. Because if you reduce your expenditure, you can ease the burden that you’re putting on the taxpayer”, he highlighted.
He said: “If they cut down the expenditure of the Office of the President; they’ve doubled it. The year-on-year budget went up by 82 billion cedis, and so if you reduce the rise of the budget in terms of expenditure, then you could reduce the incidence of tax. You might not need to place Value Added Tax on electricity so that you pass the relief on to the people of Ghana, ” the former President noted.
Mr Mahama also promised to complete old projects he may inherit from the current government if he wins the 2024 polls rather than start new ones as the Akufo-Addo government has been doing.
“All the projects that they inherited, they have abandoned, and they themselves have started projects that they know they cannot complete. And yet, instead of finishing the abandoned and ongoing projects, they have started new projects like Agenda 111, some of them are at foundation level, some they’ve raised the block work, but they know that they cannot finish it before they leave”.
“So, what they will do is to push them on to somebody else and say that, we started this and you came and you’ve abandoned it. But look at the mess you’ve created, how are we going to get money to finish all those projects”, Mr Mahama wondered.