Feature Article of Monday, 26 November 2012
Columnist: Tamakloe, Kojo
The NPP and Akuffo Addo have got some of us all confused. This is because the party has an ideology of free enterprise, or capitalism which Kufour Ex President defined as ‘ property ownership” . This ideology is akin to what the Republicans follow . part of this is fiscal responsibility and conservatism and promotion of private enterprise. They espouse theories of how to grow the economy to broaden the tax base which is revenue for the State. In doing that they empower the individuals in the state to create wealth. This will then be matched against expenditure .
Ghana and Africa’s major problem is economic and so in an election like this one would have liked to hear how the NPP and Akuffo Addo will use the instruments of tax, legal framework and interest rates to grow the economy . After all the equation must always be revenue as against expenditure and the attractiveness of the conservatives to the electorates has been that they are better managers of the fiscus.
Economic growth is a product of goods and services that are produced and to do that we are told there must be a reasonable mix of tax regime, investor friendly legal frame work and interest rates that favour investment . It is agreed that Ghana oil cannot be a panacea to all our problems as can be seen from our sister country Nigeria . Nigerian oil has been flowing since the 60s and by the 80s Nigeria was sliding downwards . Now we cannot compare Nigeria to other states like Oman, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Libya, Qatar .
Ex President Kufour spent a lot of time on tours trying to bring in investments , but those visits do not seem to have paid dividends. So what went wrong?
When NPP lost power Ghana’s inflation was at 18.5%, interest rates were at about 25% . Now the NDC has brought these to 9 % and 14.5% respectively. One would have thought the NPP would be talking about how they can better these to convince the electorate they can better manage the economy .Also recently as they hide behind GUTA to cause dissatisfaction among traders against the NDC , one would ask what legal framework they put in place from 2001-2009 for situations like this before they were chased into the bush? For a party that touts free enterprise and private initiative , what laws did they pass to promote Ghanaian greater participation in the economy.? The law being used now was passed by the NDC in 1996 and obviously it is imperfect . What is the NPP and Nana’s solution to this , taking into consideration we live in a world of interdependence . Ghana cannot live in isolation and we will have citizens from other countries coming in and ours going to them.
Security and corruption . The NPP and the followers of Nana will shout at the roof tops about corruption . By 2009 we saw how armed robbery was rampant in the country. Let us compare with the situation now. Is this not a better climate for investors to come in . But what does the NPP do? Hire thugs like Amina to hi jack buses and rob the in mates to create an atmosphere of insecurity thereby scaring away the investors. Do we also remind have to remind voters of the looting by top members of the NPP of State and private assets? What will Nana and the NPP do about these? Could Nana stand up to the looters ? There were 17 candidates for presidency in 2007 . Where did all these people get the money from? Why could they not do the same this time? So how will the NPP and Nana fight corruption this time around?
So as the NPP runs away from its ideology and come up with give aways or freebies left and right , one keeps asking how do we pay for them even in the short term and what are the long term effects. ? We see the effects in Europe , Greece and Spain where too much entitlement has led to bankruptcy. Should we spend what we do not have? So we have Free SHS, Zongo up liftment project, and Kayaye accommodation . The question I want to ask is if we are not treating the symptoms instead of the causes. Of hand as an ex educator if the basic level is not producing the desired result we need to analyze it and rectify these. Obviously these will fall into proper accommodation, equipment and teachers and classroom sizes. Zongos and Kayaye are the result of rural –urban migration. The rural areas are not conducive to growth or have little or no employment opportunities. So how do we reverse the trend?
I have on many occasions talked about Nkrumaism and what it was doing. I have used rural clusters as models he started . I used Komenda that had a College of education, sugar cane plantation and sugar refinery . These should have led to a growth center as that would have led to Banks, and grocery stores coming in . That is called planning . I know economics have never been a strong point for the NPP. Many argue they are business owners . Yes small business owners that have no systems to follow. How many have enterprises on the scale of MacDonald’s or Wal-Mart? Why could they not even purchase the Accra Mall and run it?
So for Osafo marfo to call as nation wreckers any one who opposes Free SHS as the height of hypocrisy or confirms his ineptitude that led to the demise of Bank for Housing and the abrogation of the stadium contract that has led to Woyomegate all under his watch . Osafo marfo went to a well resourced school with excellent teachers which is why he is what he is today. Nana Addo himself was sent overseas from Kinbu Boys school so he could get the best education. The question is why did their parents pay the extra money?
NPP be about insults and crying about tribalism and xenophobia. They talk about being Christians . I strayed into Church the other day. Not the ones with so called Pastors, Bishops, and Popes of all shades that see things . It was the good old Catholic Church . The priest read about Jesus answering some one about the greatest law. He said it was “ Love thy God and the second love thy neighbor” . Then I remembered how the NPP will carry shoulder high some ne who says Kill the Ewes , Kill the Gas, How the NPP will rejoice because Voltarians drowned in the lake, how the NPP will urinate on Mosques, how they judge others as trokosis, how they write false stories about others even conversations between Kuffour and Mills though they are in New York.
I was told this story by a student . A teacher who claimed to be a devout Christian and always ridiculed her mate as evil was put on the spot . It was going to rain and the” evil” teacher squeezed about 6 students in his car and dropped them near their homes so they did not get wet. The “Holy Christian” teacher and her husband also came by but did not pick any of the students. The student asked me who was a better Christian?
It is election time and make sure you vote CPP or NDC
Forward ever backward never
The writer Kojo Tamakloe is an Nkrumaist who believes African Unity is the solution to Africa’s underdevelopment