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Opinions of Saturday, 13 August 2011

Columnist: Asare, Noah Dugubrame

NDC Retards Industrialisation Plans.

Before the NPP was voted for in the year 2000, they had made sacred promises of their desire to turn Ghana into an industrialised country. Their manifesto highly conceived dreams of creating jobs for the people through industrilisation through both public and private participation. However, after they were sworn into office, they found out that some loan agreements entered into by Ghana with the international world had left the country as a highly indebted poor country. In pursuing their dream they entered the HIPC innitiative to shove off the snares of debt around Ghana. After a successful completion of the HIPC programme the next agenda was to separate the country from the oppressive IMF whose hostile programmes makes it impossible to go into full scale industrialisation. Following the steps of Brazil, China and some Eastern countries, NPP from July 2006 to the time they handed over power to this Mills-Mahama led NDC refused any lone offer the IMF brought to our doorsteps. The platform was being built for industrialisation to start. Unfortunately, NDC in their very first year in office destroyed this foundation and have gone to play the harlot with the IMF again. The IMF is again deciding what we do with our money. NDC by this action has taking Ghana many paces backwards.

The International Monetary Fund have been accused by pundits as an orgainisation that do not really care about the welfare of the people of its member states. It does not promote industrialisation and especially projects which have direct possitive effect on the people in the form of employment. That is why we saw IMF praise the economy of Tunisia four months before the overthrow of Bin Ali. They praised the dictator at a time unemployment was as high as 65%. They praised Mubarak of Egypt when the masses in his country were crying for hardships and jobs. The IMF praised Paraguay when majority of their adults were jobless. The IMF advised nations to keep monies in central banks to earn the country credits whilst the masses suffered on the streets.

Center for Policy Research (CEPR), a think-tank based in Washinton, said of the IMF as follows: "the IMF is still prescribing inappropriate loan programmes with developing nations which will unnecessarily worsen their economic downturns. And whilst they do these they use the funds which is supposed to belong to all the member nations to bail out western countries like Greece, Ireland, Portugal and America without necessarily dictating to them. Currently about 83% of the fund is disbursed to the west(Europe and America) whilst we developing countries are given scanty resources with rigid conditions. It was for these reasons that the "Big Heads" in the NPP for their last two and half years in office stopped accepting their offers and relied on our ability to generate funds from other place which will not give us restrictions so that we could invest in sectors which would have revived our dream of job creation. If you will remember in those days, the Achimota - Ofankor road and many others was carried out by the government of Ghana without an IMF loan, it was innitiated with internally generated funds. Many School and sanitation projects were also done without any international loan. Those steps were linking us to new openings which would have promoted our own consented decisions on what we want to use our money for. In this case, in investing in areas which will have created jobs for the people. We had the Wenchi Tomacan revamped. The Akomadan Tomatoe factory built. The Bolga beef cannery was up for consideration. The Pualungu Tomatoe cannery was resurrected. The Siloes were repaired and food stored in them throughout the whole year stabilising the price of food for longer periods.

Just four months into Mills rule he started considering how he will send Ghana back to IMF. They went back to them and took the biggest imf loan Ghana has ever taken since independence of $1billion. As a result of this agreement, IMF advised Ghana to increase the VAT from 15% to 18% but they feared increasing VAT again so they rather increased other taxes and levies and introduced new ones. Again the IMF directed Ghana to go into full recovery on utility, which has contributed to the increase in water and and other utility bills. The IMF condition was not even in agreement with the Single Spine Salary Structure because it is not sustainable under their conditions. And guess what, upon the IMF directive, that money is just to be deposited to raise our reserves whilst the people walk about unemployed and impoverished. The money lies there without doing anything meaningful to improve the life of the people of this country. This is the kind of loan that our president found delight in taking.

This will extend the time for Ghana to have been able to stand and chase the enviable positions of the likes of Brazil from whom we are buying a jet now, South Africa and co. It is a very visionless step which will bring us back on our knees again whilst we are dictated to on what to do with our money. In my opinion President Mills and the NDC either has no vision or plan of creating the kind of society where we can invest in ambitious sectors that will favour our people or is just looking for ways for watering the dry lands of the NDC and it´s followers with the few days at his disposal. It is unthinkable that at this time that many countries are running from the traps of the IMF President Mills is happily embracing them. Just a two months back, the same IMF offered a loan to Egypt´s Trasitional Governement and they refused it outright, because their aim is to creat job for the youth who chased out Mubarak.

The innitial steps taken by the NPP towards industrialising Ghana has been handed a major set back by the NDC. It will take a major turn around to attain the position again. This is one of the major reasons why I cannot vote for Mills, because he has not come to terms with modern day development plans of a developing country like Ghana. If he knows the consequencies and still went for it, then his intents towards Ghana is evil. The IMF has never suggested policies for industrialisation.

God bless our homeland Ghana.

Noah Dugubrame Asare. Frankfurt, Germany.