You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2018 03 31Article 639275

Opinions of Saturday, 31 March 2018

Columnist: Kwaku Badu

I bet Saint Theresa won’t forgive and forget the sins of NDC

As a matter of principle, some of us cannot abandon our arousing disgust anyhow and anytime soon over the erstwhile NDC government’s risible predilection, the unobjectionable incompetence and the corrupt practices which nonetheless destabilised Ghana’s macroeconomic indicators.

In fact, I could not agree more with the schools of thought who contend that if not for the untimely interference of the founders of the NDC in the governance of the country, Ghana would have developed meaningfully by now.

I must, however, confess that I cannot get my head around how and why some people would choose to bypass the worst culprit, the NDC and would blissfully upbraid the likes of CPP, PNP, NLC, SMC, and NPP for Ghana’s underdevelopment.

Given the circumstances in which the NDC Party was formed, one would have expected a true probity, transparency and accountability within the elected NDC government, nonetheless that has never been the case.

The fact however is, since the attainment of independence from the British on 6th March 1957, the NDC tradition (PNDC and NDC) had governed the country more than any other government one can think of. In fact, that tradition had governed Ghana for approximately 27 years out of Ghana’s 61 years.

The CPP tradition (CPP and PNP) governed the country for approximately 12 years.

Disappointingly, however, the last ‘Nkrumaists’ government formed by the PNP, and led by Dr Hilla Limann, was deposed by the founders of the NDC Party which was spearheaded by Ex-President J. J. Rawlings on 31st December 1981.

The military regimes of the NLC, SMC 1 and 2 ruled Ghana for about 10 years before the founders of the NDC supplanted power on 4th June 1979.

The UP tradition (PP and NPP) total share of the day-to-day management of the country is about 12 years to date.

Even though the P/NDC tradition has governed more than any other political party (27 years), in terms of useful infrastructural projects which put the country at a substantial and propitious position, Dr Nkrumah’s CPP government did exceedingly better than any of the administrations that followed in my humble opinion.

And more so Prime Minister Kofi Abrefa Busia’s government lasted for less than three years, there is no community in Ghana where traces of his development initiatives cannot be seen.

Significant accomplishments of Busia's government include, inter alia, the construction of roads, housing, provision of healthcare facilities and water.

The story is told that Dr Busia was the first Ghanaian leader to create a ministry responsible for rural development, an initiative which was in consonance with his consuming desire to raising the socio-economic living standards of the rural dwellers (Daily Guide, 11/07/2013).”

Generally, I detest coup makers, but General I. K. Acheampong (The Head of State from 1972-78) was an exception to such repugnance. I had a great deal of respect for the man, primarily due to his great sense of foresight.

In my humble opinion, General I. K. Acheampong was an estimable leader who initiated pragmatic policies such as operation feed yourself and affordable housing units.

It must also be noted that Dr Limann came to power when the economy was in the throes of economic collapse. All credit lines to the country had gradually dried up and were finally blocked due to brutalities and confiscations at the harbours and other points of entry into Ghana by the coup making founders of the NDC.

But upon careful negotiations and the implementation of pragmatic programmes and policies, Limann’s government managed to stabilise the economy.

Besides, sources have it that commendable efforts were made to repay our short-term debts andLimann’s government demonstrated the seriousness and commitment to meet our debt obligations.

Corollary, Dr Limann’s government managed to restore virtually all traditional credit lines within 18 months (Source: PNC).

Disappointingly, however, despite PNP government’s great efforts, Rawlings and his cohorts did not give Dr Limann and his PNP government the breathing space to govern the country, as they relentlessly breathed down the neck of President Liman.

After imposing himself and despotically ruling the country for over 11 years, J. J. Rawlings retired from the military and bizarrely metamorphosed into civilian president in 1992.

As it was expected, Ex-President Rawlings 96 months democratic rule came to an end in January 2001. Disappointingly, however, former President Rawlings memorable achievement was to send us to the membership of the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC).

President Kufuor took over the presidency in January 2001. He exerted dint of critical thinking, worked strenuously for eight solid years, laid an auspicious economic foundation by stabilising the macroeconomic indicators and retired honourably in January 2009.

Ex-President Kufuor passed on the baton to the late President Mills on 7th January 2009, following his victory in the election round-off on 28th December 2008.

It is worth mentioning that the late President Mills inherited a total debt of GH9.5 billion and a favourable economic growth of around 8.4 per cent in 2009.

In fact, the late President Mills was extremely fortunate when he took over a favourable economic foundation laid by the chivalrous President Kufuor and his equally ebullient team.

Take, for instance, three years after former President Kufuor’s NPP government had discovered oil in commercial quantities, the late President Mills only had the easiest job of turning on the valve at an offshore platform in December 2010 to pump the first commercial oil.

It is, however, worthy of note that Ghana soon joined the petroleum exporting countries. And believe it or not, Ghana started to export crude oil and thus boosted the economic growth.

The economy grew from around 8.4 per cent to around 14 per cent by 2011 and Ghana reached the Lower Middle Income status.

Ghana’s GDP grew from $28 billion to a staggering $47 billion in 2011.

Ghana was then earmarked as the world's fastest growing economy in 2010 (Economy Watch, 2010).

“Ghana's economy is growing at a blistering 20.15 per cent” (Economy Watch).

The late President Mills prudently continued to improve upon the excellent economic foundation laid by former President Kufuor and his NPP government.

Unfortunately, President Mills mysteriously departed from life in July 2012. And per Ghana’s 1992 Constitution, Vice President Mahama was the next in line to take over the presidency.

Bizarrely, things started to fall apart. It went from bad to worse following President Mills sudden and mysterious death.

Ghana’s total debt rocketed astronomically (GH9.5 billion in 2009 to GH122.4 billion as of December 2016). This was as a result of the unbridled spending in the 2012 election and the numerous corruption scandals involving GYEEDA, SADA, SUBA, Bus Branding, dubious judgement debt payments amongst others.

Consequently, Ghana’s economic growth was woefully reversed from 14% in 2011 to an incredible 3.5% in 2016. The GDP was shockingly reduced by $10 billion (from $47 billion in 2011 to $37 billion in 2016).

In sum, the successive NDC governments only managed to destabilise Ghana’s macroeconomic indicators. Indeed, despite spending 27 years in government, the successive NDC governments did not do enough to improve upon the socio-economic standards of living of Ghanaians.