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Opinions of Thursday, 12 April 2018

Columnist: Kwaku Badu

It is impossible to fix NDC’s economic mess within two years

If we stroll down memory lane, it was Ex-President Mahama who astonishingly claimed that they, (the NDC government) had licentiously consumed all the meat on the bone.

Former President Mahama, as a matter of fact, was alluding to Ghana’s unprecedented economic collapse as a result of mismanagement and rampant sleazes and corruption under his watch.

Given the circumstances, I cannot get my head around how and why the NDC brassbound loyalists would choose to ignore the successive NDC governments dreadful errors in judgement which invariably destabilised Ghana’s macroeconomic indicators and would rather upbraid the likes of CPP, PNP, NLC, SMC, and NPP for Ghana’s underdevelopment.

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.

Unsurprisingly, therefore, contending schools of thought have been arguing forcefully that the successive NDC governments have only managed to destabilise Ghana’s macroeconomic indicators. The critics contend that 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.

Considering the fact that the erstwhile NDC government left a huge debt amid massive economic meltdown, one would have expected the same people who wilfully caused such a mess to show a little remorse and refrain from accusing the embryonic NPP government of not turning the economy around quickly, but that hasn’t been the case. The NDC operatives are all over the place grumbling and censuring the NPP government for the perceived slow pace in development.

The fact however is, if the corrupt officials of the erstwhile NDC government had not embezzled the funds meant for various developmental projects the NPP government would have enough funds at its disposal to undertake a lot of developmental projects, including the expansion of the free SHS to cover all the students in forms 1 to 3.

It is absolutely true that the huge funds involved in the bribery and corruption scandals in the SSNIT, SUBA, SADA, GYEEDA, Woyome, the Brazil world cup, the infamous bus branding,NSS, amongst others would have funded a lot of infrastructural projects.

If we revisit memory lane, before the formation of the NDC in 1992, the founder of the NDC, J. J. Rawlings, and his coup making friends vowed to purge off the alleged widespread sleazes, corruption and social injustices in the country which instigated their coup d’états in 1979 and 1981.

Ironically, however, sleazes and corruption are deep rooted in the same party whose founder claims to abhor so much to the extent that he previously exterminated corruption suspects, many of whom would not have been given a community service in a true democracy.

The spate of corruption in the country during the erstwhile NDC administration was extremely worrisome, as a matter of fact. In fact, the crescendo of alleged corrupt practices cannot be allowed to pass without commenting.

Back then, due to the repulsive activities of the corrupt officials of the outgone NDC government, the innocent citizens ended up experiencing economic hardships, starvation, depression, emotional labour and squalor which sent the vast majority to their early graves.

Even though it is somewhat dreary to keep belabouring the point about the sorrowful state of Ghana’s economy under the erstwhile NDC administration, for the sake of balanced annotation, it is important to state the facts anyhow.

It is, indeed, extremely disturbing to keep hearing and reading from the same people who wilfully collapsed the once thriving economy carelessly shouting from the roof top about the current state of Ghana’s economy after only fifteen months of NPP government assuming power.

How could individuals who revoltingly threw Ghana’s economy deeper and deeper into the mire turn around and accuse the infant NPP government of economic mismanagement in barely fifteen months into office?

In fact, it was the same NDC government that spent excessively and above its means and in the process needlessly increased our total debt from GH9.5 billion in 2009 to GH122.4 billion as of December 2016.

This means that there was virtually no money left in the national purse for the incoming NPP government to manage the affairs of the country.

It does however appear that the vociferous minority NDC operatives have no regard for accepted rules and standards. This may explain why the clamorous opposition NDC operatives are bizarrely up in arms about the NPP government’s prudent spending on capital expenditure.

It is, indeed, boundlessly illogical for the minority NDC operatives to expect President Akufo-Addo and his NPP government to spend monies they don’t have, notwithstanding the fact that it was the same people who abhorrently emptied the national coffers to the dismay of discerning Ghanaians.

Despite the economic mess left by the erstwhile NDC administration, since assuming power, the Akufo-Addo’s government has taken commendable strides to improve the social mobility through implementation of poverty reduction policies such as free SHS, one district one factory, one million dollars per constituency, tax reductions, a dam per village in the northern part of Ghana, among others.

Besides, the Akufo-Addo’s government has efficiently raised the economic growth from a disappointing 3.5 per cent as of December 2016 to around 7 per cent within a short space of time.

Upon taking office, the NPP government has dramatically reversed the inflation rate to a little over 11 per cent from a little over 15 per cent as of December 2016 (GSS 2017).

Based on the current favourable economic outlook, I can confidently state that the economy is heading towards the right direction under the able leadership of President Akufo-Addo.