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Opinions of Monday, 18 June 2018

Columnist: K. Badu

Should tax payers be thankful on the erection of infrastructural projects?

There is no gainsaying the fact that unsuspecting voters have been brainwashed by the unprincipled and manipulating politicians to believing that all that an elected government has to do for its citizens is to provide social infrastructures and amenities.

So, it was extremely heart-warming when the vast majority of discerning Ghanaians overcame their benightedness on dynamics of governance and refused to be hoodwinked by the manipulating and cunning NDC politicians during the 2016 electioneering campaign.

Let us face it, though, the notion that the best an elected government could do is to put up only infrastructural projects is somewhat sophistic. Yes, praiseworthy governance indeed goes beyond the provision of infrastructural projects and social amenities.

It is absolutely true that good governance also involves the implementation of expedient policies and programmes with a view to stabilising the socio-economic standards of living.

Of course, the provision of infrastructural projects is an important aspect in the nation building. Yes, any serious , committed and forward-thinking government would not only focus on putting up both meaningful and meaningless projects, but would rather focus on both infrastructural projects and the implementation of pragmatic policies and programmes that will propel the economy.

As a matter of fact, we elect a government to oversee our national affairs. And, we, in turn, are obliged to pay taxes to the elected government so as to run the country seamlessly.

Besides, the government has our unflinching support to go for reasonable loans to support the day-to-day running of the country. In effect, we (the citizens) pay for all the expenses pertaining to the management of the country.

It was for that reason that I was in agreement with President Mahama for suggesting somewhere in 2008 that it is an exercise in mediocrity for any government to take delight in infrastructural projects.

Apparently, President Mahama meant to suggest that every lousy government could easily undertake that role of governance. By inference, the erection of infrastructural projects is as easy as ABC. No offence intended, Madam Akua Donkor could erect more infrastructural projects if given the opportunity.

To be blunt, and rightly so, since discerning Ghanaians have been paying taxes over the years, it would be boundlessly unconscionable for any government to only hide behind social amenities and infrastructural projects such as public toilets, schools, roads, water, electricity, amongst others.

So, I, for one, was over the moon when in 2016, discerning Ghanaians ignored Mahama administration’s much touted unprecedented achievements such as the erection of Nkrumah Circle Interchange.

After all, to whom much is given, much is expected. It is, however, worth emphasising that President Kufuor left a total debt of around 9.5 billion Ghana Cedis in 2009. However, our total debt ballooned to around 122.4 billion Ghana Cedis as of September 2016.

This means that Mahama and his NDC government added more than 113 billion Cedis within a short space of seven and half years.

It is, therefore, extremely baffling to keep hearing and reading from the same people who wilfully collapsed the once thriving economy, shouting from the roof top about the supposedly slow pace of development barely eighteen months of the NPP government assuming power.

In retrospect, the NDC government focused primarily on so-called infrastructural projects and failed terribly to initiate expedient policies and programmes to overturn the failed policies of agriculture, poverty reduction and resource allocation in the areas of healthcare, education, finance, supply chain management and security sector planning, amongst others.

So, how could individuals who revoltingly throw Ghana’s economy deeper and deeper into the mire turn around and accuse the NPP government of not turning things around quickly in barely eighteen months into 48 months mandate?

It is, indeed, quite unreasonable for the minority NDC operatives to expect the NPP government to keep all its promises within a short space of time. After all, haven’t Ghanaians given Akufo-Addo’s government four years to deliver the Manifesto promises?