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Opinions of Friday, 18 July 2014

Columnist: Tamakloe, Kojo

Did Fifi say the economy of Ghana is booming

....or Sarpong is mischievous ?

Kojo Tamakloe

I have lived through a lot of NPP era and get sick when they play mischief with the intelligence of the ordinary Ghanaian . Ghanweb july 16 & 17 carry articles by one Mr Justice Sarpong about the above topic . Please read the quotes I have lifted from his post

“According to Hon. Fifi Fiavi Kwetey, the depreciation of any currency comes with advantages that could be tapped for the betterment of the country's economy.”. I think the active portion is “ advantages that could be tapped “ . Where then lies the word “ booming”? Booming means ,”having a period of great prosperity or rapid economic growth” So we have a statement that is futuristic and booming refers to current situation . So does Sarpong understand the statement?

The article goes on

“…the depreciation of the currency should actually be a blessing for countries that are looking at exporting but the reason why we are complaining and suffering is because our country is filled with imports,” he claimed. Again the Hon Minister is saying “ countries that are LOOKING AT EXPORTING” and admits there is suffering as we import too much . Is that the situation in which we want to be in? Running trade deficit with all countries . Even with Morroco we import $30m and export $1m . How do we close the gap ? By borrowing.? Mr Sarpong the “NPP economic guru” hails this as a SUCCESS . We must forever go cap in hand begging for hand outs and loans. Any sensible business person even with economic studies from Makola knows that Profit/loss = Sales –cost /expenditure . So the more we sell the better for us . Even if your revenue was $2 that fetched you GhC 2 before but now you get GhC4 will that not improve the cash flow situation , if not profitability . So are there advantages ? How does this way of thinking fit in with AGOA and the newly signed EPA both of which need to be utilized if we are to prosper . Sure there are challenges , but the successful person is one who sees opportunities and overcomes the challenges . Are we up to it or we should be content marching and complaining and writing distortions . We need to accept that our income and expenditure gap is real and it is not misinformation that will solve it but honest action . NPP after HIPC left a deficit of 14% of GDP . What is that ? Expenditure in excess of receipts . Mr Sarpong , how do you want as to close the gap?

The article goes on ,“Was Fiifi Kwetey being showery when he said that? What do we export that will make the depreciation of the cedi a blessing? Even Mr Kwetey is well aware we import more than what we export so how can this be a blessing to an importing country like Ghana when what we export is raw materials like cocoa, oil, gold etc that cannot even be increased in the short and medium terms to take advantage of the cedi's depreciation” Can we think outside the box ? Why only gold , cocoa, or oil . We have Lake Bosomtwe , a scenic holiday resort abandoned by the NPP after Nkrumahs removal lying idle and being polluted . All it needs is investment . Question who will ?. Guys we will march and shout about free enterprise but wait for government . NPP when are you going to invest in businesses instead of politics . when CEANA is soliciting for ideas for development NPP pours insults on them talking about “ their resources” . Mean while they are organizing yen ye die marches . NPP stop talking theory and go on to practice . Why do you oppose everything? Is it not time to come up with SOLUTIONS . Nkrumah had town development committees who came up with ideas to develop the areas . Acheampong implemented operation feed yourself and in a year there was excess corn that was being supplied to neighboring countries . Let me remind you if Nkrumah had listened to NPP there will be no Volta dam and no energy supply . talk of Dum sor . We would have the dum and no sor . There would have been no KNUST nor UCC . That is NPP .

Transformation is a complete or major change in someone's or something's appearance, form, or thinking . So how do we transform the economy. Is it not by changing what we have been doing in the past for something different? Who will ? Definitely, NOT NPP as they want same, same . Dr Amoako said DEPTH where the D stands for DIVERSIFY and H for human development . We need to think differently

Y3n tie Obiarra This is my take . Let us simply ignore these saboteurs in our midst . I know they will say I am Togolese , so be it . That is all they Know . Insults and disparagements . After kuffour went all over the world with cup in hand looking for investments and came back empty handed , is it not time to realize no one will do it for us but ourselves . Innovation and development should be our watch word .Unfortunately the NPP factory of insults and negativity is working 24 hrs a day non stop . President Mahama ,go on with your campaign of Made in Ghana, buy Ghana ,consume Ghana produce and do not listen to these negative people . NPP will wake up after 50 years and see you have done the correct things . After all do we not, NOW ,hear about “Akufo Addo economy” or export led recovery from Alan Kyerematen. Today they agree we need to industrialize . They accept we need to add value but we have to be competitive. The question is how? So how does what they are saying differ from what the Hon Minister Kwertey said . That is the issue , we cannot learn from others and Bukina faso is out performing us . Guys ,let us keep on beating our chests . We are the “ best” . We are not , we are a work in progress , that is why we are labeled “ developing country”

Taxes and revenue . The fact is that people are not paying taxes cannot be over stressed. My suggestion is speed up home addresses so that it is linked to the voter ID or national ID cards . Every one who registers to vote will need to be served with a tax return form and be pursued for tax purposes . All people for elected office should be made to show their tax returns . If people can pay GC85000 just to contest for primaries shows how much money is in the system and the evasion of taxes . Just reside in the UK , Canada or USA and see how the tax systems work Recently in the UK , parliament wants to go into people Bank accounts to collect its tax . In USA even Snypes ,a well known actor was jailed for tax evasion . Why should they pay taxes to be given to you as donor funds .

Corruption June 4th brings painful memories because some of us chose to be corrupt . Let us use it to remember what can happen to the innocent when we are corrupt. The young ones should be told the harsh realities of what caused it, instead of us trying to apportion blame . But let us use it also to clean our environment , be they cities, towns, villages ,hamlets and compete by way of debates the, evil effects of corruption . Let us create systems to counter corruption and put in place deterrents for the corrupt. On june 4th let us parade those found guilty of corruption around the streets carrying placards , “ I stole X amount of money” or abused my position. After all corruption is not a party thing. We all do it That is why we have Chieftainship disputes, land disputes , referees, brothers eating money sent them or sisters , ghost workers, in the civil service , soccer players diving
Guys when some one pays GC85000 and buys bill boards at Gc10000 each , how much will he earn to repay the out lay.? Is that not a reason for corruption ? Now if some one laments the moneyterization of politics we pour out vitriol on him . Is it not corruption when we intentionally misquote and hence misinform the public about what some one said ? Can those people with moral justification claim to be honest and that they are not contributing to societal decay?

Let us keep Ghana clean

Forward ever , backward never

The writer Kojo Tamakloe is a pan Africanist who believes that African Unity is the solution to Our underdevelopment