Pres. Mahama has been making some claims on the campaign trail in the Eastern and Volta regions. His claims about the national access to water and hospital utilisation under the National Health Insurance Scheme were found to be mostly false and mostly true, respectively. Meanwhile, the president’s claim about the performance of the services sector in Ghana vis-à-vis the agricultural sector was found to be entirely true. Below are the specific claims he made, the fact-checking verdicts and the bases for the verdicts.
1. Claim: If you look at Ghana’s economy, the services sector has overtaken the agriculture sector as the largest contributor to GDP.
Verdict: Entirely True
Explanation: According to the 2016 Mid-Year Budget Review, the largest contributor to national GDP was the services sector which recorded 54.4% of Ghana’s overall GDP. The services sector was followed by the industrial sector which contributed 25.3% of GDP. The agricultural sector, contributed 20.3% of Ghana’s GDP.
The services sector’s predominance has been consistent since 2006 (following methodological improvements and rebasing of Ghana’s GDP in 2010). Also, for about five years now (since 2011), the industrial sector has also contributed more to GDP than the agricultural sector.
2. Claim: We started the NHIS in 2005. By 2008, those who went to the hospital (under the NHIS) were 9 million. In 2015, 29 million people attended hospital.
Verdict: Mostly True
Explanation: The figures being quoted by the president are mostly supported by information from the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA). Indeed, according to the NHIA, outpatient utilization of health care services in respect of NHIS subscribers increased significantly from 9,339,296 by December 2008 to 29,350,847 by the end of 2015. These figures for hospital utilization under the NHIS cover only outpatient visits, and will likely be higher if figures for in-patient utilization is added.
PRESIDENT MAHAMA at KPANDO IN THE VOLTA REGION
3. Claim: By the time we complete all those (water) projects the Volta region will have higher than the national average (access to water), the national average is 76%.
Verdict: Mostly False
Explanation: On August 9, 2016, the Minister responsible for Water Resources, Works and Housing Dr. Kwaku Agyemang Manu at the Meet the Press series held in the conference room of the Ministry of Communication, stated that the 76% was for urban water supply only and not the entire nation.
“Hon. Chairman, urban water coverage today stands at 76% and will increase to 78% by the end of this year when several on-going projects are completed…”the Minister said in the statement. “Currently, rural water coverage stands at 64.9%,”the minister added.
In conclusion, the national average for water coverage will at best be an average of both rural and urban coverage which is 70.4%. This means that the president’s estimate of the national water coverage was mostly not true.