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Opinions of Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Columnist: Badu, K

Circle Interchange is the fruit from your sweat, not Mahama’s

By K. Badu

This periodical seeks to deconstruct governance with a view to bringing it to the full understanding of my unlettered Mum and those in her category, who are being manipulated by the cunning politicians.

Apparently, a lot of unsuspecting voters have been brainwashed by the unprincipled and manipulating politicians to believe that all that an elected government has to do for its citizens is to provide social infrastructures and amenities.

Obviously, such a notion is specious. For good governance indeed goes beyond the provision of infrastructural projects.

To be quite honest, good governance also involves the implementation of expedient policies with a view to stabilising the socio-economic standards of living.

Of course, the provision of infrastructural projects is an important aspect in the nation building. However, any serious and a committed government would not only focus on putting up more meaningful and meaningless projects, but would rather focus on both infrastructural projects and the implementation of pragmatic policies that will propel the economy.

What my Mum and her mates should remember is that we elect a government to oversee our national affairs. And, we, in turn, are obliged to pay taxes to the elected government to run the country.

Besides, the government has our unflinching support to go for loans if required, to support the management of the country.

In hindsight, we (the citizens) pay for all the expenses pertaining to the management of the country.

It was against that background that I was in agreement with President Mahama for suggesting somewhere in 2008 that it is an exercise in mediocrity for any government to take delight in infrastructural projects because every government undertakes such projects.

Somehow, President Mahama meant to suggest that every lousy government could easily undertake that role of governance. By inference, the erection of infrastructural projects is as easy as ABC.

To be blunt, and rightly so, since my Mum and her comrades have been paying taxes to Mahama and his NDC government over the years, they are not under any obligation to be thankful to Mahama and his NDC government for providing them with social amenities and infrastructural projects such as public toilets, schools, roads, water, electricity etc.

Indeed, the Nkrumah Circle Interchange project was made possible through the taxes from the hard working Ghanaians and all the numerous loans they will pay at a later date.

Obviously, my Mum may wonder why, she, and her comrades will have to pay the massive loans that have been contracted by Mahama and his government at a later date.

Well, my explanation to my Mum and her colleagues is that they are obliged to repay the loans because they own Ghana. So they will repay the gargantuan loans through the extra taxes Mahama and his NDC government will add to their existing taxes.

I would also like to maintain that in order for Mahama to get enough revenues to repay the huge loans, he could increase the taxes on fuel, electricity, water and many others. Take, for example, in recent times, you have been paying huge utility bills.

It is also worth informing my Mum and her comrades that President Kufuor left a total debt of around 9.5 billion Ghana Cedis in 2009. However, our total debt has ballooned to around 110 billion Ghana Cedis as of September 2016.

This means that Mahama and his NDC government have added more than 100 billion Cedis within a short space of seven and half years.

This is the reason why I would like to remind my Mum and her colleagues not to show any appreciation to Mahama and his NDC government for the Circle Interchange project. For if anything at all, Mahama put up the project with your own taxes and the gargantuan loans he contracted.

In fact, my Mum and her compatriots should know that if anything at all, it is rather Mahama and his non-performing appointees who are reaping huge benefits from their taxes.

On top of their big pay cheques, Mahama and his lousy appointees often misappropriate your taxes, for they don’t tell you exactly how much they have been spending on all those infrastructural projects.

So, Mum, it is rather Mahama and his non-performing appointees who should be appreciative that you don’t often hold them to account for their existential incompetence and corruption.

As a matter of fact, Mum, you are not under any obligation to vote for Mahama based on the provision of so-called infrastructural projects such as the Circle Interchange, because you rather paid for the project.

In fact, what you would need is a government who will take bold and pragmatic steps to fix the ailing economy. I will therefore recommend a government who will reduce all forms of taxes, including taxes on electricity, water, fuel, gas, kerosene and many others. Mum, indeed, stiff tax paying economy is never a thriving one.

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