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Opinions of Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Columnist: Antwi, Peter

Mills government should stop Patronising Ghanaians.

NDC - Mills government should stop Patronising Ghanaians.
It is very ironic that Mills and NDC government have always behaved in an offensively condescending manner toward Ghanaians in getting them support their dubious ideologies and plans including the STX housing deal, Kosmos/ExxonMobil deal and TOR Dept. My question is how long is the NDC-Mills government going to Patronise Ghanaians?
Irksomely, the NDC government is fond of whipping up nationalistic sentiments and taking advantage of the ignorance of the public to cloud common sense through their false statements with deliberate intent to deceive.
Recently, Mills government via GNPC wanted the support of the Ghanaian populace to get the Kosmos oil share in order to give it back to the Chinese oil company after Kosmos refused the Chinese bid and had decided to sell it for over £4 billion to ExxonMobil.
When Kosmos declined to sell their share to the Chinese oil company as the Mills administration wanted, the NDC-GNPC quickly stepped in and made promises to Ghanaians that GNPC was going to buy the shares of Kosmos for the State rather than ExxonMobil buying it, even though they knew without any shadow of doubt that it was not possible looking at the money involved and the expertise needed.
The Minister of Energy, Dr. Joe Oteng-Adjei told a Joy News bulletin on April 23, 2010 that “Ghana has made a fresh proposal to Kosmos Energy to buy its stake in the Jubilee field”. But it’s now crystal clear that all along GNPC never made any offer to Kosmos, so the question is, why did Dr. Oteng-Adjei lie to Ghanaians, and what was the need for the NDC government to patronise Ghanaians?
It is also not true that the government of Ghana first has the sovereign right to buy the Kosmos share before any other entity could buy it as was drummed to Ghanaians by the NDC propagandist. In fact, if Ghana government wanted to buy the Kosmos shares, it would have to go through the same bidding processes as any other entity that wanted to buy it. Also, the Ghana government would have spent a huge amount of money in hiring a specialist oil exploration company to manage the highly sophisticated and technological equipment of Kosmos, which wouldn’t have been beneficial to the state.
Now, with this recent bogus and dangerous STX housing deal, the NDC government is patronising Ghanaians again that they’re going to build 30,000 Units of houses out of 90,000 units as duty post categorically for the security agencies in the country, that was a brilliant idea, but my problem is why should the government single out an X number of houses specifically for security officers alone? As much as I respect and deem the security of the nation as important, I don’t think that the NDC-Mills government should suggest that the security officers are more important than the civil servants, teachers, post officers, nurses and ordinary Ghanaians in the country. Undoubtedly, this posture of the government does not enhance patriotism in a country.
Besides, for most police officers, prison officers and military officers who desire to own houses at affordable prices, US$50,000 is definitely not affordable. Obviously the NDC government is again deliberately camouflaging Ghanaians and security officers in order to get their support for their spurious STX deal. I believe this reminds readers of when Mills promised women of Ghana 40% positions in his administration, but what do we see today? Less than 12% positions have been given to women in Ghana after patronising them to vote for him in 2008 election.
Again, the question still remains about the NDC lies on TOR debt. According to Joy business news report, it quoted the finance Minister Dr Kwabena Duffour disclosing the TOR debt at a press conference in Accra on Wednesday 25 March 2010 saying the debt, estimated at over GH¢1 billion, which has been accumulated as a result of several years of under-recovery of petroleum prices.
The Ghana News Agency report from the same press conference quoted Dr. Duffour saying, ‘TOR is GCB’s creditor and as at the end of December 2008, the overdraft position at GCB was approximately GH¢598 million (approx US$425 million), mainly in the form of established letters of credit, which crystallises into overdraft facilities’. According to the Duffour, ‘the debt had since grown from GH¢598 million in December 2008 to GH¢848 million March 2010 (approx US$606 million) because of the interest that had accrued on it’. Questions some of us are asking is, how much debt did NPP leave at TOR, was it $1billion, $606 million, GH¢1 billion or GH¢848 million?
According to Dr. Duffour, the NDC government inherited only GH¢598 million debt in December 2008 at TOR, which increased to GH¢848 million in March 2010 through interest accrued in that short period of time. If the debt was GH¢598 million, why did Duffour quote it as over GH¢1 billion?
The question I have been asking is that if within 14-months in NDC’s government, the accrued interest on the debt alone was over GH¢250 million, then how long did it take the NPP government to incur the said debt of GH¢598m at TOR with the interest up to December 2008?

Ghanaians are increasingly becoming fed up with the NDC lies and propaganda.

Peter Antwi.
Romford, London