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18.06.2021 Feature Article

From 14% to 3.4%: Surely, NDC couldn’t have been Ghana’s solution

From 14% to 3.4%: Surely, NDC couldn’t have been Ghana’s solution
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Since Ghana is not a one-party state, it will be boundlessly unconscionable for anyone to conclude somewhat spuriously that only the NPP government will govern till thy Kingdom come.

Mind you, Ghanaians have the opportunity to partake in the universal adult suffrage to elect leaders they so wish to lead the country after every four years.

Given the stable nature of Ghanaian democracy and political dynamics, we expect governments to pop in and out. Suffice it to emphasise that the trend will continue unabated.

We should not also lose sight of the fact that the Constitution of Ghana gives every sound adult Ghanaian the right to stand for the presidential seat if they so wish.

The all-important question then is: do we really expect every sound Ghanaian adult to jump on the throne with a view of steering the nation to the right direction?

The presidential seat is a life time privilege which comes with enormous responsibilities, therefore someone with vast life experience, a catalogue of suitable employable skills, and a portfolio of relevant qualifications, tried and tested competencies and the requisite knowledge should be a suitable candidate for the position.

Apparently, the emergence of democracy has given impetus to every sound adult Ghanaian to seek to compete for such an important position.

Regrettably, however, we are, more often than not, been electing ‘lousy’ officials whose only preoccupation is to sink the nation deeper and deeper into the mire through incompetence and unbridled corruption.

It is an undeniable fact that we choose to exercise our voting rights by electing a president in anticipation that the said leader will form a formidable government to run the affairs of the country to the benefit of the masses.

Of course, in recent times, Ghana has been experiencing challenges in the economy which has somehow energised the social media lovers to shrill and urge the current administration to put things in order.

What the social media enthusiasts are failing to acknowledge though, is that the economic meltdown is not Ghana specific, it is rather a global crisis as the result of the insidious coronavirus.

That notwithstanding, the government of the day has the obligation to put policies and programmes in place to impact the lives of the citizenry.

We should, however, not lose sight of the fact that the current NPP administration took over an uninspiring economic growth of 3.4% and a dreadful inflation of 15.4% in December 2016.

However, the Akufo-Addo administration, before the pernicious coronavirus, managed to raise the economic growth to around 8.6% and reversed the inflation to 7.5% in a little over two years in office.

Let us be honest, if we fail to accept the painful fact that Ghana’s economy was in tatters during the erstwhile NDC administration, then we are somehow breathing oxygen into Mahama’s assertion that Ghanaians suffer from memory loss.

Ghana’s economy, like most countries that were at the receiving end of the unspeakable coronavirus, grew a disappointing 0.9% in 2020, compared to the average growth of 7% in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Delightfully, as I write, the economic team of the NPP administration has done a yeoman’s job in spite of the deadly coronavirus and managed to raise the economic growth to around 3.1% and 7.5% inflation.

If we stroll down memory lane, the good people of Ghana, so to speak, were extremely concerned when out of unpardonable dereliction of duty amid unbridled corruption Ghana’s debt ballooned dramatically from GH9.5 billion in 2009 to an incredible GH122.4 billion as of December 2016 with a little to show for.

Unsurprisingly, therefore, discerning Ghanaians couldn’t remit their fury in condemnation when the erstwhile NDC administration disastrously collapsed the social interventions such as the School Feeding Programme, the National Health Insurance Scheme, the Metro Mass Transit, the Free Maternal Care, SADA, GYEEDA amongst others.

Why should any patriotic Ghanaian jump for joy over the GH800 million dubious judgment debt payments, including the GH51.2 million to Woyome which resulted in the drastic reduction of capital expenditure?

In fact, the terrible economic management of some administrations invariably raises the germane question as to why some people choose to enter into politics.

Observers nonetheless maintain that individuals have different reasons for going into politics. It is believed that some people jump on board for their love for their nation. Others just view power as an excellent opportunity to amass wealth.

It would thus explain why some politicians do not care about the plight of the masses. They only scramble for power in order to pursue their parochial interests.

If that was not the case, what else would motivate former President Mahama to dole out large portions of our scarce resources to inveterate NDC apologists like the founder of Ghana Freedom Party (GFP), Madam Akua Donkor, who in all honesty, contributed nothing meaningful towards Ghana’s wellbeing, and yet received a melodious gift of two four wheel drive vehicles and a luxurious bungalow purported to cost a staggering $475,000?

Regrettably, the NDC leadership is fond of resorting to vague rhetoric and political gimmicks to win political power and then turn their back on Ghanaians.

Tell me, dearest reader, how come they turned their back on almost all the promises they gave to the unsuspecting Ghanaian electorates?

Ironically, with all the promises, former President Mahama and his NDC administration failed to end the dumsor, failed to implement the one-time NHIS premium, jobs were not readily available for the jobless, the economy sunk deeper and deeper into the mire, they reneged on their promise to keep ‘lean’ government, Ghanaians became poorer and poorer, sleazes and corruption escalated to immeasurable proportions, endless borrowings amongst others.

The agricultural growth was around 7.4%in 2012, but the erstwhile NDC government nauseatingly reversed it to around 3% as of October 2016 (GSS).

But on assumption of power, the Ministry of Agriculture, under the able leadership of Dr Owusu Akoto-Afriyie, rolled out flagship programmes such as planting for food and jobs’, Planting for Export and Rural Development, Rearing for Food and Jobs, which were expected to boosts the agricultural growth.

Gratifyingly, however, the Agriculture sector expanded from a growth rate of 3.0 percent in 2016 to 8.4 percent in 2017 (GSS 2017).

More importantly, the Akufo-Addo administration efficiently raised the economic growth within a short space of time. Ghana’s economy grew provisionally by 8.5 percent in 2017 compared to 3.7 percent in 2016 (Ghana Statistical Service, 2018).

In the first two years of the Akufo-Addo administration, the Industry sector recorded the highest growth rate of 16.7 percent, followed by Agriculture 8.4 percent and the Services 4.3 percent.

Services share of GDP decreased from 56.8 percent in 2016 to 56.2 percent in 2017. The sector's growth rate also decreased from 5.7 percent in 2016 to 4.3 percent in 2017.

However, two of the subsectors in the services sector recorded double-digit growth rates, including Information and Communication 13.2 percent and Health and Social Work 14.4 percent.

The Industry sector, the highest growing sector with a GDP share of 25.5 percent, had its growth rate increasing from -0.5 percent in 2016 to 16.7 percent in 2017.

The Mining and Quarrying subsector recorded the highest growth of 46.7 percent in 2017.

Its share of GDP, however, declined from 18.7 percent in 2016 to 18.3 percent in 2017. Crops remain the largest activity with a share of 14.2 percent of GDP.

The Non-Oil annual GDP growth rate decreased from 5.0 percent in 2016 to 4.9 percent in 2017. The 2017 Non-oil GDP for industry recorded a growth rate of 0.4 percent, compared with 4.9 percent in 2016. Growth in the fourth quarter of 2017 reached 8.1 percent compared to 9.7 percent in the third quarter (GNA, 2018).

Based on the preceding facts and figures, we can confidently deduce that Ghana is currently in safe hands.

K. Badu, UK.

[email protected]

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