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Opinions of Saturday, 5 March 2011

Columnist: Baafi, Alex Bossman

Bankruptcy of Ideas and Corruption Will Rub NDC of Retaining Power

By Alex Bossman Baafi

Before anything tangible or meaningful can be successfully created, action of some kind is necessary. Before any action is possible, there must be thought of some sort either conscious or unconscious because thought is a product of the mind. There is no doubt therefore that the mind is the creative centre from where all activities are conceived before they are hatched. Nothing good comes easy and therefore before any government could make any meaningful national impact, it must have a clear vision of ideas of new initiatives and programmes to pursue in order to improve upon the living standards of the people and leave legacies worthy of emulation.

If we toss our minds back, a little over two years ago many well-meaning people of this country could say with adequate certainty that life has deteriorated now and that many are facing economic hardships with the few having it rosy. So where is the “Better Ghana” that was promised by the NDC government? Talk is cheap and therefore political talk is easier said than done.

Before the advent of the NPP government in 2001, there were nothing like the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Capitation Grant (CG), School Feeding Programme (SFP), National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP), and Metro Mass Transport (MMT) in the country. These laudable initiatives came because of a hardworking team who constantly exercised their spiritual estates (their minds) to create pragmatic solutions to cushion the diseases, poverty and underdevelopment problems facing the well-being of the people. Frantic efforts were made by the previous NPP Administration to secure funding for some of these programmes without necessarily resorting to Excessive Taxation Measures that is crippling many businesses under this NDC government. Example of some of the creative thinking resulted in the nation qualifying for the Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC), the best initiative ever in the economic history of a developing nation such as ours in 2001. The NPP government worked hard to focus the nation to become a middle-income country six years later. Initiatives like the Millennium Challenge Account that rakes in about $547 Million and still counting was not earned on a silver platter. There were massive improvements in the public service under the NPP Administration. It again initiated the new Pension Law, the National Identification System (NIS), and the Single Spine Salary Scheme (SSSS) all geared towards improving our economy faster than it used to be. Hard work resulted to the discovery of oil and gas in commercial quantities, secured funding for the construction of the Bui Dam not to mention the massive expansion in the roads, water, energy, housing and water sectors among others in the country.

In the area of corruption, I must concede that the system might not have been corruption-free; the previous administration did its best. The onus is now on the ruling NDC government to prove the point that the NPP Administration was corrupt. The much-trumpeted noise that was made during their opposition days has not been proved with evidence in court culminating into losing many alleged high profile corruption cases in court. If nothing at all, the previous government toiled and sweated to put in place anti-corruption laws including the Procurement Law, Financial Administration Law and the whistle Blower Law to assist fighting corruption.

On assumption of office since January 2009, the NDC government has not been able to communicate it vision and articulate its initiatives and programmes well for the country. There has not been any departure from what they criticized the NPP Administration when the NDC was in the opposition. What baffles many good people of the country is that as result of lack of ideas, the social democratic government of the NDC has not been able to expand or improve upon the initiatives like the School Feeding programme, the NHIS, the MMT as well as the National Identification System. In fact, all the enumerated initiatives by the previous administration were successful. For example, the MMT has become very popular and calls for the expansion of it to create more jobs and alleviate some of the transportation challenges facing commuters in this country.

The “Better Ghana Agenda” has remained a mere slogan. It is empty with no building blocks to serve as foundations leading to anything. What constitutes Better Ghana is not clearly spelt out with road maps to achieve them. There is nothing tangible to serve as the benchmarks or targets to measure against actual performance of the government at the end of its tenure making all of us to continue to live in the fool’s paradise. Many development projects ranging from affordable housing to very important roads such as Tetteh Quarshie-Madina and Achimota-Nsawam and others road projects in Kumasi and around the country have been abandoned because of lack of creative ways to raise funds for their completion.

Just recently the NDC General Secretary, Asiedu Nketia (General Mosquito) severely criticized the NPP Administration because it did no secure funding for the construction of the Bui City Project alongside Bui Dam Project. According to him, the former president Kuffour must be dragged to explain to the Board of the Bui Power Authority why his administration left only artistic impression of how Bui City will look like after completion. Bankruptcy of ideas of how to fund the Bui City has made the NDC government to put such a magnificent project on hold. What a shame. I want Asiedu Nketia, his NDC government to know that thought is mind in motion, additions, and subtractions are therefore spiritual transactions. Reasoning is a spiritual process, ideas are spiritual conceptions and questions are therefore spiritual searchlights which lazy beings are incapable of framing. Minds and thoughts that create modern business ideas including the artistic impression of the Bui City Project are what we need to make a drastic departure from our present “hit or miss” political dispensation. Bui City Project a huge opportunity to create jobs and wealth and should not be abandoned by anybody for any reason. I know that as opportunity follows perception, action follows inspiration, growth follows knowledge and environment follows progress. We always have to exercise the mind first then transformation into possibilities of achievements will be ours. I have now come to realize that many politicians seek office not to deploy their own virtues and patriotism but with the prime motivation to “eat” the nation financially. It beats the imagination of many good people of this country that Mills-lead NDC government is soaked in massive corruption. By what magic did Asiedu Nketia, a Board Member of the Bui Power Authority win a contract to supply expensive blocks for the construction of the Bui Dam Project? NDC made corruption a campaign issue with president mills then candidate in opposition articulating the perceived corruption in the Kuffour Administration very well to secure votes and sympathy from the electorate. Because human beings have very short memory what do we see today. What happened to Muntaka, Carl Wilson, Ayariga and the Mabey & Johnson indicted High Commissioners? Is the STX Housing Deal fraud-free to guarantee the nation value for money to warrant the Presidential Accent?

In my opinion, the NDC government has not justify why the good people of this country should renew their social contract with them come 2012. My few words of advice however is that all is not lost yet and that, their General Secretary and the government should know that, ideas are intangible force that has more power than the physical brains that give birth to them. They also have power to live on after the brains that created them (ideas) have returned to the dust. We need creative minds to create ideas of new ways of doing things because people who decide to live as their ancestors did will not experience any progressive change in their lives. Our minds are our spiritual estates and we should exercise them creatively for the benefit of our people as a government.

Email: abkbossman@yahoo.co.uk