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16.01.2010 PPP News

Nduom Not Satisfied WEith Mills's Performance

By Daily Graphic
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The Convention People’s Party’s candidate for the 2008 presidential election, Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom, has described the performance of the Mills administration in 2009 as below average.

He said on a change barometer, the government scored below average in timeliness, sense of urgency and delivery of positive results.

Speaking at a press conference in Accra, Dr Nduom said on the economy, the administration set a low bar for performance by choosing to go back to the dictates of the IMF and the World Bank, adding that that was what slowed down growth and led to the constant refrain of “no money in the pocket” for 2009.

“By Freezing public service employment, holding down wages and salaries and practising austerity in public spending at the time other governments were doing a lot to stimulate domestic business activity, the administration lost quite a bit of goodwill in the markets, lorry parks, farms and beaches throughout the country”, he claimed.

He urged the president to “understand that it is the economy that matters. It is what gives room for education, infrastructure, health and social matters to get attention. He must realise this and also know that little or no growth brings social inequity and causes people to harbour discontent”.

He said the government failed totally to address the problems on pre-mix fuel and the fishing industry, adding that

the government failed to remove its officials from the distribution, reduce the price, deal with pair trawling, provide cheaper source of fishing inputs and deal with poverty levels in fishing communities.

“Unfortunately, members of the Mills administration have put government and politicians back in front and middle of pre-mix fuel distribution,” he alleged.

He urged the government to leave the product in the hands of the fishermen and women and those companies licensed to distribute petroleum products in the country.

Dr Nduom described the government’s performance in the area of oil and gas in 2009 as a disappointment, saying: “This is one area I expected the President to hit the ground running. Rather, more time was spent looking for wrongdoing,” he alleged.

He said with the work done by the previous administration on legislation to govern the new oil and gas industry, he expected a more active engagement with the public on proposed legislation, priority spending and investment plans.

“A sense of urgency must be found to push government’s intentions on oil and gas including the critical items of local content and petrochemical industry to the public arena,” he said, adding that “a greater transparency is needed here”.

He asked for lessons to be be learnt from what he termed, the injustices visited on Akwatia, Obuasi, Prestea, Tarkwa, Nsuta, Bibiani, Awaso and other towns from where he alleged that hundreds of millions of US dollars of natural resources had been taken to boost economies of other countries.

Touching on the issue of Kosmos/EO Group versus the government of Ghana, Dr Nduom said though the government of the day had the right to investigate the group, investigations should be done professionally and behind closed doors with only well-vetted conclusions being brought to the public domain.

On the Single Spine Salary Structure, Dr Nduom said it was a critical matter with major consequences for the administration and the country as a whole and needed not be delayed.

He said the delay in implementation had more to do with objections raised about the wage bill by the International Finance agencies such as the IMF and the World Bank and urged the President to take personal charge of “this important yet potentially very dangerous promise of better pay package.”

Turning the spotlight on opportunity for the Ghanaian private sector, Dr Nduom said Ghanaian enterprises were waiting for the change promised in the form of state support, contracts and a market for their products and services.

“The high cost of money in 2009, coupled with the cedi’s loss of value in the first half of the year, put many Ghanaian enterprises in a precarious position. No stimulus package was implemented to help domestic enterprises to cope with the changing global environment. Add to this, the fact that many local contractors did not get paid last year, the real position then becomes clear that 2009 was a difficult year for the Ghanaian private sector,” he added.

He said no country had ever achieved prosperity without the growth of the domestic private sector, adding that if President Mills wanted a better Ghana, he needed to work out a package to improve the competitiveness of the domestic private sector.

On the President’s “Father for All” declaration, he said it had failed as President Mills had sought to satisfy the needs of his party foot soldiers instead of the needs of all Ghanaians.

He urged the President to deal with it positively “and make us all feel the change that will make every Ghanaian feel welcome and needed in his own country”.

On a scale of A to F, he gave the president B in stability in administration, C in the handling of the economy, D in Oil and Gas and F in Premix Fuel and the Fishing Industry. Share Your Thoughts on this article Name Email Location Comments Graphic Ghana may edit your comments and not all comments will be published

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