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Opinions of Monday, 25 July 2011

Columnist: Asare, Noah Dugubrame

The NDC Noose

The noose is an object many will prefer not to hear of. Strangely the Mills-Mahama led NDC is gladly embracing it. Not just that, they spend time to defend that the life taking object is good for ones health. Just a few years back the NDC prepared one which they had left behind after 19 years of their reckless management of our economy.

It took the bold steps of former president Kuffour to liberate the country from the death sentence through the HIPC innitiative. They had prepared a noose for the future which eventually was going to be put around the neck of Ghanaians after they had ruined us and gone.

One thought that after the noise about the trillions and trillions of debt they left behind in the year 2000, given the chance again NDC will venture into the game of piling debts wisely. Unfortunately this has not been the case.

In just two and half years The Mills led NDC has accrued more external debt than all the debt left behind by NPP's eight years in power. NDC on assuming power made baseless accusations that they inheritted an economy under intensive care. A broken economy and all that. Suddenly they(NDC) have stopped the noise because it has no basis.

If you inherit an economy of total debt of only 8.1 billion dollars. A poverty level of only 18%, an appreciated currency of 9 cedi 8 pessewas to a dollar and a GDP growth of 8.3 instead of the 4.1 inheritted from them. You can't just complain. In two and half years instead of the NDC to build on the good achievements they are reversing everything and Ghana is sharply heading to HIPC again. Our poverty level is now running through 29 percent according to Washington-based Gallup Research.

Disregarding all the difficulties facing Ghanaians. They are consistently facing areas which does not stand to improve the living standard of the suffering masses. This is a clear display of a government willingly paying for a noose to hang the country. We will remember when the NPP wanted to purchase just two jets for the millitary in 2008 the NDC argued that the Ghanaian was suffering and needed those funds in areas which will improve their living conditions. Hon E T Mensah emphatically stated that the NPP government was not sensitive to the plight of Ghanaians so a care for you NDC was coming to improve the life of the common Ghanaian. This was at a time when people living below the poverty line was 18%. NDC is now aquiring not two jets like the NPP, not three, nor four but five jets and a hunger. A jet with an official price of 32 million is being brought to us at a cost 65 million all these against the backdrop that people living below the poverty line have increased from 18 to 29.4 percent.

The NDC has entered a memorandum of understanding with the government of China for a loan of 14 billion dollars to be invested in infrastructure with a maturity date of 15 years. There is already an increase of our debt from 8.1 billion at the end of 2008 to 16.8 as at now. That is excluding this jet purchase loan from Brasil. The numerous loans yet to be acquired this year are not part of this 16.8 billion.

What I see in the hands of this Mills-Mahama NDC government is a noose prepared to hang Ghanaians after they are gone because for example this jet loan is to be paid in ten to 15 years time. At a time many of them will be no where to be found. All the loans they have aquired are having minimum maturity period of five years and nothing less. The majority are 8 years and above. What it means is that they are piling up debts knowing very well they are not the ones who will pay for them.

Already all the projects they are undertaking with these loans have the cost inflated which means the state is already making losses. Classroom blocks are constructed at highly inflated cost of more than 170% percent. A road contract already awarded is reawarded and instead of the state making gains, the cost per killometer of road is inflated to about 150% increase. A six classroom block awarded for construction at 78millio cedis was now awarded at 280 million cedis when the NDC is claiming there is low interest rate and a reduced inflation. And guess what, many of the classroom blocks are already breaking down. Wind have taken off the roofs of others in just less than a year after construction. It means state funds will be spent on those projects again to add up to the losses.

With these long term loans, the inflated contracts most of which are awarded under sole sourcing, contrary to the procurement law and the source of some of these loans is putting another noose around the neck of mother Ghana. I mentioned the source of the loan because if you are taking a loan from a country like china you dont expect job creation for your people. Even cleaners will be chinese. If an African country and Ghana for that matter needs help and who she turns to is France it is definitely a suicide mission because France dont have Africa at heart.

The worst aspect is that, if things continue like these by the time they are out of power Ghana cannot meet any condition for international financing because our cocoa is already used as coleteral, the oil is used as coleteral, our GDP growth is slowing down, our external dept is on the rise and there no signs of improvement regarding where the monies are running to.

They are strategically enriching themselves leaving a huge debt for us in the future when they will have gone to stay in the luxurous houses they have bought in America and other places or in the mansions spread accross the country. The noose in their hands is never for a suicide but to hang the ordinary Ghanaian in the near future.

God bless our homeland Ghana.

Noah Dugubrame Asare.