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Opinions of Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Columnist: Amankwah, Kwabena

Why rational thinking ghanaians can't be excited about the imf bail-out

Reports and public utterances of functionaries of the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress government indicate that they are very much excited about the fact that the government is receiving US&918.00 under the International Monetary Fund bail-out programme over the next three years.

What appears very funny is how some fanatics of the NDC have been jumping from one radio station to another claiming that panic has hit the camp of members the main opposition New Patriotic Party because the IMF package means they have to forget about any prospect of winning the 2016 general election.

We at the New Statesman are not particularly 'excited' by the NDC's excitement, which we are convinced is ill-motivated, and being influenced by the prospect of getting more opportunity to carry out some projects that will enable them steal more money belonging to the suffering people of Ghana.

What 'excites' us most, however, is how members of the NDC should show excitement about the gross ineptitude of the Mahama-led administration. The entire IMF programme is the outcome of the extent to which the national economy has been ruined by the Mahama-led NDC government, with no hope or any means of recovery, other than begging the IMF for a bail-out. And this President Mahama and his functionaries are excited about?

We do not think any rational-thinking Ghanaian who cares about the future of this country can be excited about this IMF programme with the country. We are in complete agreement with former President John Agyekum Kufuor when he asserts that the decision by the Mahama administration to seek a bailout from the IMF was a sign of incompetence, just as it is demeaning to the country. "I think it's unfortunate that we have had to go back to the IMF because of the malfunctioning economy. We weaned Ghana out of the IMF tutelage to give dignity to the country and that's what is meant by self-government. It's a bit demeaning, but it's a phase and we must enlighten our people to understand that next time when they come across people who can manage the economy, they should pay healthy regards to them," Mr Kufuor reportedly said in a radio interview. The Managing editor of the new Crusading Guide, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako Jnr, is also absolutely right when he says the only reason that led to the country's reversion to the IMF for a bail-out is because "this government [Mahama's government] has wrecked the economy by driving it into a ditch."

What also makes the excitement of the NDC funny is the fact that the IMF extension of credit to Ghana will just be a drop in the ocean, and certainly cannot be the panacea to the economic crises confronting Ghanaians. The solution to the current economic crisis in the country first lies in the ability of President Mahama to halt the systematic 'creating, looting and sharing' of the county's resources by his government. Unfortunately, the president has demonstrated that he does not have the spirit, attitude and capacity to deal with that ignoble and devilish act that has assumed unprecedented height under his watch,

Mr Mahama's administration has received so much revenue, unprecedented in the country's history, in the form of high taxes, oil revenues, unprecedented loans, good export prices and foreign remittances, yet the country is saddled with an unprecedented debt-to-GDP ratio of almost 70%, depreciating currency, rising inflation, arrears in statutory payments, collapse of the NHIS and other social intervention policies.

And the reason is simple: President Mahama and his government are simply corrupt, incompetent and insensitive to the plight of the very people who voted them into office. They keep telling Ghanaians, by their actions, that their understanding of governance is that it must be self-serving and be used as an avenue for friends to amass wealth, to the detriment of the collective good of the citizenry.

Finally, why would any rational thinking Ghanaian, especially workers, be excited about the 'evil' agenda to follow the IMF directive to lay-off workers in 2017? The NDC's plan is simply to get workers to vote for them in 2016 and get them laid-off in 2017.

Ghanaians should not allow themselves to be deceived; President Mahama and his government should not be allowed to take us for a ride again; let's us be prepared to join the crusade to say 'good riddance to bad rubbish' in 2016: getting them out of power is the surest way to get the opportunity to reverse the mess they keep creating and to put the nation back on the path of progressive development.