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Feature Article of Sunday, 24 February 2013

Columnist: Agyemang, Katakyie Kwame Opoku

Where is Our Money, Mr. Mahama?

One of the sources of government revenue is borrowing (domestic & external). Since independence to the year 2001, Ghana's overall public debt stock was $7.5billion. This is what Jerry Rawlings' NDC left for the Kufuor government.

In the year 2009, the total National Debt left by Kufuor's NPP administration was GHC9.6billion and this amount included all the debts from 1957. Apart from many social interventions - NHIS, free maternal care, NYEP etc left for the NDC government in 2009, the Kufuor government bequeathed to the nation oil in commercial quantities, HIPC funds, and $547 million from the Millennium Challenge Accounts.

However, for the past 4 years under the Mills/Mahama NDC government, Ghana’s total public debt has jumped from GHC9.6bn to GH¢33.5 billion, a difference of GHC23.9billion or 248%. This amount excludes the $3billion Chinese loan in the pipeline.

From the above, it is clear that each Ghanaian, adult or baby, now owes GH¢1,361.79 (13.6m old cedis) and I don't know where I could find money to pay for my immediate family.

The figures were contained in a report of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of Ghana (BoG). If you add the road tolls collected within the last four years, and the high increases in taxes - import duties, export duties, direct taxes etc, you can imagine how much has gone into the coffers of the particular government. All this revenue excludes what the country derives from our exports - gold, diamond, manganese, cocoa, timber, and the crude oil.

Now looking at the State of the Nation, and for that matter the economy, can any NDC sympathiser justify this excessive borrowing by the government? Where is our money? Is it in the pockets of few individuals? Is it found in the pockets of only NDC members?

Today, our roads are terrible to ply on; our energy is not sustainable; and as for drinking water, the least said about it, the better. We can't boast about our educational system; we can't talk about the Tema Oil Refinery. Our senior national team cannot perform. Unemployment situation is worse because the present government has no knowledge about job creation. They only create jobs through propaganda and on the radio. Political tension has become the order of the day. Ghanaians are living with hopelessness.

If you listen to John Mahama's State of the Nation Address, it's more than an NDC manifesto presentation. The address is full of "We will"; "We shall"; "My government intends" etc. Mahama seems confused with State of the Nation Address and party manifesto or electoral promises.

For the past 4 years, I have been hearing the Eastern Corridor, Western Corridor, SADA, free school uniforms, expansion of school feeding programmes to all basic schools etc. What is the execution period for the above projects and programmes, if I may ask? When will these project disappear from presidential speeches, Mr. Mahama? The only thing John Mahama missed this time around was the construction of 30,000 housing units for the security officers. He couldn't talk about it because of the humiliation from the abortive STX Korea deal.

The NDC can't even complete Suhum-Apadwa portion of the Accra-Kumasi, yet they are talking about construction of railway lines. How could this be possible? "Mpanin se, y3nankoto a y3 da"? They keep increasing fuel prices without a corresponding increase in job creation opportunities, yet they talk about putting people first and reducing poverty among Ghanaians.

The NDC can find money to construct a new statue for Kwame Nkrumah and celebrate his birthday. They can find money to build $20m party headquarters. They can find GHC51.2m to pay fraudulent judgement debt to Woyome. They can find money to pay John Mahama 120 million old cedis every month. They can find money to buy laptops, and saloon cars to young girls to vote for them. But the same John Mahama will complain about public sector wages. Why do people support this party at all? Are they truly Ghanaians? Are they patriotic citizens?

For me, the Supreme Court could do mother Ghana good if the Judges do the right thing by declaring Akufo-Addo the winner of the 2012 presidential election.

Until then, Ghana is doomed forever!

God bless Ghana! God bless the NPP!! God bless Kufuor!!!

Katakyie Kwame Opoku Agyemang, Enfield, London.

(Free SHS Ambassador) Official blog: (www.katakyie.com) katakyienpp@yahoo.co.uk 07577626433 A native of Asante Bekwai-Asakyiri

"Vision, coupled with persistency, results in true success"

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