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Opinions of Monday, 18 April 2011

Columnist: Sarpong, Nana Yaw

Mills and NDC –A Social Democratic Failure


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The NDC government masquerades as a ‘Social Democratic Party’ however its actions whilst in power is proof that despite it’s posturing it continues to implement harsh austerity programs designed by the IMF and World Bank that inflict pain and suffering on the people.

In the 1980/90s under the ERP/SAP programs the government continued to ask Ghanaians to tighten their belts whilst (P)NDC functionaries and ‘Secretaries and Ministers continued to live lavish lifestyles driving around in Mitsubishi Pajeros, Shoguns and Suzuki Space Wagons.

In 2009, again upon coming to power the first thing the government did was run to the IMF/World Bank with its arms wide open to embrace an austere economic policy which has led to massive and widespread unemployment, especially among our youth with a current rate of 41% .This is in stark contrast to NPPs reduction to 21.5% after leaving office.

When Ghanaians complain the NDC government relishes with delight at the fact that Inflation is in single digits forgetting the price that has been paid in increased poverty and hardship amongst poor hard working Ghanaians. The NPP government whilst in power specifically introduced an economic ‘stimulus’ plan in 2007 to reduce/cushion the effects of the global economic crisis when oil prices has topped $147 per barrel.

The NPP in its wise judgement decided to absorb the economic shock of the time rather than impose IMF style ‘Shock Therapy’. The NDC has however applied a painful poison of economic policies which has is devastating the lives of Ghanaians, causing widespread and long lasting impact on the lives of average hard working Ghanaians.

Most of our brothers and sisters will as a result of these policies struggle to pay for their children’s school fees, pay rent on housing or afford to enrol on the National Health Insurance scheme for hospital treatment when their family members fall ill.

During the period of global economic crisis in 2007 the NPP government did not rush to the IMF/World Bank for advice but like a responsible and caring government continued to ensure the continued functioning of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), the School Feeding Program and continued payment/disbursement of the Capitation Grant.

The Ghanaian economy whist facing these fundamental economic challenges, managed to grow at annual rate of 8.4% in 2008. This was at a time when the NPP government for the first time in the countries history had decided to gradually untangle the Ghanaian economy from the tentacles of the IMF/World Bank. There is a saying ‘The greatest gift a student can give his teacher is to stop being a student’. The NPP was prepared to set its own economic strategy and agenda at a time when Ghana had not even struck oil in commercial quantities.

The NDC Better Ghana agenda has so far failed to transform Ghana’s economy. With the revenue coming from the countries oil find and the fall out in economic thinking during the post global credit crunch era, the NDC has once again run out of ideas and will practice a policy of watch and pray.

The NDC under President Mills is failing to take bold steps towards maintaining the administrative strength of the civil service and has rather politicised the institution. The recent massive decision to transfer 30,000 people without giving them designated and specific roles or a clear strategy to pool this wealth of talent to support industry and boost capacity, smacks of a vindictive and hidden agenda. Most of these civil servants will be replaced by NDC sympathisers and foot soldiers.

The NDC has failed to provide a deliberate government inspired program to make a Ghana a 1st world oasis in a 3rd world region.

With the exception of the praise singers of Mills such as Allotey Jacobs, Alex Segbefia, Koku Anyidoho, , Okudzeto Ablakwa, Agyenim Boateng, Nii Lantei Vanderpuiye and others at the Presidency who look very well and seem to be putting on weight at astonishing speed, Ghanaians are really starving ,suffering and going nowhere under President Mills.

It is time to change the NDC, Its time for real change to move forward.

Nana Yaw Sarpong-07983302369 Communications Officer-NPP UK and Ireland

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