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Opinions of Monday, 13 November 2006

Columnist: Amankwah, Nana Kofi

Kufuor Has Issues

John Agyekum Kufuor does not understand how to grow a productive economy for the country through inflation reduction and creating jobs for the nation. This National Patriotic Party (NPP) talks big, but their results are small with regard to the economic production of the country.

Almost nine weeks on the roll, crude oil prices have continued to decline in the world market. Yet, the Kufuor administration has been selling fuel for $4.00 per gallon in Ghana. On Tuesday 31, October 2006, the National Petroleum Authority announced new prices from 36,957 to 35,609. This is an insult to Ghanaians. The current spot rates continue to be steady at $58.39 a barrel. The forward future market rate for three months is now $65.00 per barrel. Speculators had settled that the November delivery price will be reduced by $1.28 from the previous month. Despite all the efforts from OPEC members and reduced production of one million barrels a day, fuel prices have continued to go down around the world. Kufuor and his NPP administration sell fuel for 35,609 cedis in Ghana which is equivalent to $4.00 Right now in America, New Jersey fuel prices are $1. 95 per gallon. In New York, it is $2.28 per gallon.

Although OPEC has made cuts, the other countries who are not OPEC members have increased production. The crude oil price will continue to decline. OPEC members has decided to keep the crude oil price at the equilibrium of $60,00 per barrel which is going to be bad for them to keep the price at that level. Ghanaian industries are the one suffering the most from Kufuor’s hardship inducing economic policies. Kufuor administration has not reduced energy costs to enable them to increase production. Industries could hire more people. Kufuor has failed the nation because of his vision of making huge profits from the petroleum imports to Ghana. Ghanaians should listen to the opposition party the (NDC) when they raise issues about the economy. Why is it that when crude oil prices went up, Kufuor administration quickly increased fuel prices in Ghana? When the world market reduces their price, Kufuor will reduce his price just only 1 % or 2%. This is an insult to Ghanaians. Kufuor cannot build Ghana’s economy overnight, so stop being naive. John Agyekum Kufuor can’t continue with his stubborn behavior of selling fuel for $4.00. These policies are not in the best interest of the nation. Based on the world market price the fuel prices in Ghana should be selling at 25,200 cedis per gallon including all the taxes. This will help the consumer index go down, so that the country can balance its current accounts effectively. With these high fuel prices how can the country increase its GDP? Many NPP members believe that those who criticize Kufuor dislike him personally, but they must realize that Kufuor has issues that need to be addressed in public.

The former transport minister Anane is out. Many Ghanaians are happy including some of his own NPP supporters. Now, the inspector general of police (IGP) Patrick Acheapong must be fired and should be replaced with the honest K.K Maafo. Kufuor will never act until the whole nation begins to put peer pressure on him. He can’t identify the problems on his own. The people can identify the dilemmas for him that he failed to act on. I have a clear message for NPP supporters. They must realize that Ghanaians did not go out and beg Kufuor to become our servant. . Instead, Agyekum Kufuor is the one who went and begged Ghanaians to become our servant. He is our servant. He should do what ever the masses wants him to do. If he continues with his sudden stubborn behavior towards the people that he is serving, his party will pay a heavy price in the 2008 elections. If Kufuor can’t take the heat, he should leave the office in more capable hands.

Nana Kofi Amankwah (New York)

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.