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Opinions of Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Columnist: Akoto, Akwasi A. Afrifa

Open Letter To the President: Concerning the Loans.

This is my very first letter to you since you assumed office, Mr. President. Therefore I take this opportunity to congratulate you on your success in the 08 elections. I also salute you for the Machiavellian way you handled the Sunyani Congress.

Mr President I write to you because it's been a while since Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo,humbly, asked you about what you have done with the $10billion loan. Yet the tax payers have not heard from you.

If you'd remember Mr. President, Nana in his Liberty Lecture speech sent you this message thus,

"At the end of 2008, Ghana’s domestic debt stood at GH¢4.8 billion..... According to the Bank of Ghana, at the end of June 2011, Ghana’s total domestic debt was GH¢10.8 billion,.....this was before the recent bond issue of GH¢300 million... Ghana’s external debt stood at $4 billion at the end of 2008.......and some $10 billion of loans have been approved by Parliament since President Mills took over....This NDC government has had plenty of resources at its disposal because of the expanded economy it inherited, record cocoa and gold prices on the world market, together with revenues from this newfound wealth, oil."

"Na Sika No Wo He? What has been the impact of these massive resources on the lives of the people? Where are the projects",asked Nana.

With the shylock-like $3billion Chinese loan pending, Mr. President, you have undisputably acquired more loans than all previous government combined. Granted, you have built some "Schools Under Trees." True, you have given out some free school uniforms and presidential cups. With confidence, your handlers say you have paid the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) debt. We are also aware that you have bought bought planes for yourself and the military. Nor have we forgotton the historic two year presidential primary campaign you and the PNDC Chariman's wife waged -in an atmosphere bravely described by the latter as " the politics of financial influence."

But with all due respect Mr. president, did the aforementioned "projects" cost tax payers $10billion dollars? $10 billion dollars is Marshal Plan money. But no where do citizens see any Marshal Plan-like activities (In fact, it was reported that you threw your hands in the air in dejection when you visited flooded areas in the North. You were overheard remarking that only God could rebuilt these infrastructures)

I therefore deem it my duty as a model citizen to remind you of Nana's concerns and to join him in asking you- once again- "Sika no wo he?"Where are the projects? What have you done with $10billion dollars in 3 years?

The good citizens of Ghana patiently await your answer. But you don't have much time, Mr.President. At most, you have 15 months.

Thank you.

Akwasi A. Afrifa Akoto