Feature Article of Saturday, 14 August 2010

Columnist: Baafi, Alex Bossman

NPP Ready to End the Corrupt – NDC Government in 2012

By Alex Bossman Baafi

The emphatic, overwhelming, triumphant and successful Congress of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), during which Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo recorded a landslide victory is an indication of how NPP had seasoned herself, through far reaching reforms in battle ready to wrestle power from the NDC come the impending general elections in 2012. Congratulations to Nana and all the great people of the party for a job well planned and executed.
There is a saying, “wo hwe ase a, sesa wonantee” which literally means “when you get up after a fall alter your gait”. That is exactly what I know the NPP had done right which has placed them in the position for onward battle to win the political power to move the nation forward.


In my candid opinion, the battle is not going to be an easy one but campaigns would be centered on issues, and would be clean, devoid of rancor, lies and insults. Among other things, one thing that will certainly become a campaign topical issue is “Almighty Corruption”. News had it that at the just ended NPP congress, the ex-president Kuffour was reported as saying that corruption is becoming incarnate and that corruption is seen everywhere. He had been severely criticized by a strong worded statement signed by Deputy Minister of Information, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa describing the former president’s view as tantamounting to hypocrisy and double standards.


Personally, I could remember vividly well that one of the main campaign issues that NDC made political capital of during the last 2008 general elections was corruption. Without concrete evidence, every move of the former government was seen by the then party in opposition as corrupt. Corruption became a household name at the time of NPP administration. I have now come to understand that politicians have the special goggles to see corruption so what is the NDC government complaining about? The loudest noise was made by President Mills then in opposition. He preached against corruption everywhere he went in the campaign trails professing to be angle and therefore a politician without blemish.


There are clear perceived corrupt practices associated with the key members of NDC government that had been grossed over by this NDC government which I think deny them the morale right to criticize anybody citing corruption in the corridors of Mills – Mahama led government. Ex – president Kuffour is been accused of hypocrisy but the point is that, if corruption was unacceptable under NPP, is it justified under the NDC? Some of the few corrupt incidences that are still lingering on the minds of well meaning people of this country are honorable Muntaka’s pampers case, honorable Ayariga’s tractor grabbing issue, the Carl Wilson’s confiscated cars saga to mention but a few. Despite the huge public outcry of incidence of corruption, abuse of office and conflict of interest involved in those cases, what was/is the formal position of government on them?




Perhaps the most recent corrupt – endemic deal ever in just the nineteen months of NDC administration has to do with the STX – Government housing deal that was passed in a rush and irresponsible manner by the one – sided NDC members of parliament. So are the President and the NDC government now happy with the deal because it has been obnoxiously pushed down the throat of the taxpayers and for that matter the good people of this country?
According to the NDC Minister, honorable Abongo, the STX deal was heralded with the lavishing of ‘gifts’ and not bribes by their Korean counterparts. This alone speaks volumes and called for the need to scrutinize the deal to get value for money for the good people of this country. What is beyond my comprehension is what motivated the NDC MPs to rush a deal that waives taxes, duties, fees and demanded collateral and insurance of guarantee against political and commercial risk. A deal signed by Social Democratic Government that required 30% local content and 70% foreign in terms of manpower coming to work in our country without taxes. Yet, NDC minister Bagbin hailed it as nothing but bold and grand vision of Mills Administration. If this is the vision of the Mill Administration then in my humble opinion it is not the best.


For me I believe that the domestic private sector provides the most prudent alternative as part of the bold initiative to reduce the acute housing deficit confronting this nation. Why the NDC MPs were not willing to entertain any alternative credible deal such as the one proposed by GREDA to construct 300,000 houses for $7 billion which saves the nation $3 billion and yet increase the housing stock by additional 100,000 beats my imagination. The multiplier effect of this GREDA’s proposal on our national economy cannot be easily quantified. Again, the debt-servicing implication of the STX housing deal is disastrous. This stems from the fact that the country’s debt stock stood at $9.2 billion constituting 61.7% of GDP as at 2009 from $7.9 billion (54.6%) of GDP as at the end of 2008. In the opinion of financial experts, an additional debt of $4.5 billion for the government off-take of 90,000 houses will increase the national debt burden to 91.8% of GDP which is almost equivalent to the time the country had to go HIPC. This does not make sense but because of corruption and greed NDC government went ahead. What is more, this deal will limit the government’s ability to undertake more productive investments in other sectors like railways, energy, water, roads and ICT not to mention the oil and gas sector which for me is more crucial and critical and should have been among the priority areas of the government.


With all said and done, I believe that it is the inaction of the president that has made corruption to triumph in the NDC government but come 2012 this corrupt government will be voted out of power Insha Allah.

Email:abkbossman@yahoo.co.uk