PICTURES: President Mahama tours Western Region, dismisses claims of companies leaving the country

President John Dramani Mahama has dismissed claims that some private companies are deserting Ghana as a result of high tax rates and the recent power crisis.

In a radio interview on Twin City Radio in Takoradi yesterday as part of his “Accounting to the people” tour of the Western Region, President Mahama said there was no shred of evidence to back the assertion that private companies were leaving Ghana.

There were public criticisms of the government in the heat of the power crisis and claims that some multinational companies were fleeing Ghana for the power-efficient and more conducive business climate in neighbouring Cote d’Ivoire.

Fitch rating

But responding, President Mahama said there was something happening in the economy.

“…you would recall that recently Fitch has downgraded countries like South Africa, Brazil… and yet Ghana maintains its credit ratings. It tells you that something is happening to the economy. It is not true that businesses are folding up to go to Cote d’Ivoire, it is just a political talk. Anytime I hear such claims, I ask those who make that claim to provide the name of a single company that has left Ghana for Cote d’Ivoire; there is none,” the President said.

“Ghana’s economy is the second largest economy in West Africa after Nigeria.  Cote d’Ivoire is third. In my second term and by 2020, it is our plan to ensure that we run a balanced economy,” he stated.

Presby Moderator’s criticisms

Responding to a question on how he felt last Sunday when he met and hugged the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Reverend Professor Emmanuel Martey, in Sunyani, President Mahama said he had nothing against him.

Rev. Prof. Martey has been a staunch critic of President Mahama’s administration and is noted for his famous call for people of vision and wisdom to lead the country. “NyansafoƆ mo wƆ hen (where are the wise)?” he had called out.

Pictures from the event showed that they had a hearty albeit brief conversation to the admiration of the public.

Commenting on the meeting with the Moderator, President Mahama said: “Professor Martey is a respected clergyman and I consider him as my father. I attended the 30th anniversary of the Brong Ahafo Presbytery and, of course, he was presiding and he was full of humour. He preached a very good sermon and I respect him and he continues to be my friend. I think that we need to have a spirit of acceptance.

“I’m a leader who accepts criticisms and so I have nothing against anybody who criticizes me. I have continued to extend a warm hand of friendship to even those who are my political opponents.

“I believe that not one person has all the wisdom of this world and you must be open to the fact that somebody might be right and you are not right and so I embrace everybody.  I hadn’t seen him in a long time and I was happy to see him,” he said.

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