Having read quite a number of news articles about the recently parliament-approved Agyapa Royalties Investment Deal, one question that still sticks up my craw, and my mind, to be certain, is this: If, indeed, this equities investment deal were that inadvisably bad, why hadn’t notable economics experts like Dr. Nii Moi Thompson demanded to be afforded temporal space to address a plenary session of Parliament before the deal was put to vote on the august floor of the House and approved? You see, hollering over spilled milk is what these after-the-fact protestations by the leaders of some so-called Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and some distinguished financial experts like Dr. Thompson reeks of (See “Agyapa Deal Is Like a Heroin Addict Selling His Wife’s Jewelry – Dr. Nii Moi Thompson” MyNewsGh.com / Ghanaweb.com 8/30/20).
My basic worry, after literally following the money and seeing the latter make the rounds on the treacherous terrain that is Fourth Republican “Ghanarian,” as in “Voltarian,” political culture, about the only most reasonable and logical conclusion that I come to is that, by and large, our leaders, of both political parties, cannot be trusted with signing fiscal or monetary agreements that have any positive long-term impact on the growth and development of our beloved country. Here, of course, I have in mind the legion Judgment-Debt liabilities that the ordinary Ghanaian taxpayer has had to shoulder, with absolutely no deterrent consequences for the monsters and/or villains and rascals who put us through such stygian mess.
On the face of it, the Agyapa Royalties Investment Deal seems to be perfectly hunky dory. But there are also bitter historical aftertastes that have to be fully taken into consideration, such as the wantonly exploitative colonial and postcolonial relationship that Ghana has had with Britain or England, in particular vis-à-vis the management of our cocoa-marketing resources as well as Ghana’s mineral and forestry resources, as Mr. Thomas Kusi-Boafo, the Chief Executive Officer of Public Sector Reform, had occasion to inform the general Ghanaian public recently. This was the first thing that came to mind when I read about the proposed investment of our equity royalties on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). Historically, not much evidence that is very elating has resulted whenever Ghanaians and other non-European ex-colonial subjects – the latter terminology is, of course, another palatable euphemism for slaves – have gotten involved with our former colonial overlords where money is the bone of contention, or the focus of such decidedly lopsided relationship.
Then also, you don’t need to be a genius economist to realize the fact that the Agyapa Royalty Investments Deal sounds darn too good to be true, which is often the case. Even so, I am far more confident in the credibility of any agreement that is struck under the tenure of the leadership of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) than under the leadership or tenure of the key operatives of the National Democratic Congress (NDC). For, invariably, the kleptocratic leadership of the National Democratic Congress has demonstrated ad nauseam that it cannot be trusted with the Ghanaian taxpayer’s money, especially where the development of our beloved nation is concerned.
A comparative appraisal of national development under the neoliberal social intervention policy oriented New Patriotic Party, gives me great hope that whatever else may not be quite savory or savvy about the Agyapa Royalties Investment Deal was at least conducted or executed in good faith. The same case clearly cannot be made for the leadership of the National Democratic Congress, aptly described by Supreme Court Justice Jones M. Dotse as grubby politicians who are inordinately and pathologically given to thievishly amassing the collective wealth of Ghanaian citizens and blindly and voraciously divvying up the same among themselves, with absolutely no regard and respect for the development and welfare of the nation at large.
There is inevitably bound to be a leakage or two here and there, irrespective of which of the leaderships of our two major political parties was in charge of the Agyapa Royalties Investment Deal. But the fact of the matter is that on any day, rain or shine, the leadership of the New Patriotic Party has proven itself to be far more trustworthy where the collective interests of the nation is at stake. Which is why foresighted or grossly misguided, I prefer to put my proverbial bottom-dollar on the leadership of the Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party, even when common sense and good conscience counsel extreme caution.
*Visit my blog at: KwameOkoampaAhoofeJr
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
August 31, 2020
E-mail: [email protected]