NPP's Intellectual Bankruptcy on Ghana's Economic Debate
The strategy of the so called economic team of the New patriotic Party ( NPP) to use economic based issues to outdo NDC in the national economic debate has taken a nose dive. It has come to light that after collapsing all our manufacturing and export industries and with insufficient funds coming in, the NPP irresponsibly went about plundering our foreign reserves to prop up the ailing Cedi. Records we have sighted show that between July 2007 and December 2007 the country's foreign reserves were heavily drawn down by $950million to support the sinking Cedi which was depreciating at the rate of 30% per year. As the situation continued to worsen between January 2008 and December 2008 another £250million of the nation's foreign reserves were again withdrawn to support the Cedi.
In total, the NPP government under ex president Kuffour sold over $1.2 billion of currency reserves in the foreign exchange markets to support the new Ghana Cedi, yet the currency continued to depreciate sharply. By the close of 2008, the new Ghana Cedi had depreciated over 31% against all major currencies in the world. The country's gross foreign reserves under NPP dropped to USD1, 896 million equivalent to 1.3 months of import cover for goods and services.
We can now see how irresponsible and reckless the NPP was in government. If this is the government that Ghanaians would want to return to power in December 2012, then they must be ready to tighten their belts and brace themselves for the worst bumpy ride in their lives.
It is also important to note that despite the abysmal economic record of the NPP while in office, the intellectual bankrupt economists at the heart of Ghana's economic affairs at the time, including Dr Bawumia, the then deputy governor at the central bank of Ghana painted a rosy picture and described the economy as robust and resilient. At a time when the NPP claimed and continued to boast that the economy registered an estimated growth of 7.3% in real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) 2008, we know for a fact that this 'artificial' growth rate was largely caused by the massive injection of funds, including the $750million sovereign Eurobond in 2007, sale of majority stake in Ghana Telecom for which the Government of Ghana was short charged.
How can an NPP government made up of people who claimed to have so much knowledge about economic concepts treat current account inflows, not targeted at any production activity, as contributing to real growth in the gross domestic product (GDP)?
We know for sure that part of the $750million Eurobond was used in paying salaries and wages. We also know that proceeds from the sale of Ghana Telecom were used to balance the budget. And we also know that the $1.2 billion drawn down from our foreign reserves were used to prop up the new Ghana Cedi. These were not funds targeted at any real economic activity but were deceitfully recorded as investment capitals. This is NPP accounting for you.
Was it not this same NPP under ex president Kuffour, unsympathetic to the plight of Ghanaians, clandestinely pushed through parliament a bill to set up tax haven and off shore banking accounts in the Virgin and Cayman Islands? This has enabled their cronies and foreigner companies to transfer our hard earned foreign curries from Ghana into these off shore accounts to the detriment of the Cedi; causing the Cedi to depreciate at the level we are seeing today.
Yaw Osafo Marfo and his freakoconomists talk of fraudulent payment of judgements: Can they tell Ghanaians why NPP under ex president Kuffour paid over $100,000,000 in judgement debts to Telecom Malaysia when the NPP unlawfully abrogated their contract in favour of their Norwegian cronies? Why did the NPP refused to pay Construction Pioneers (CP) for legitimate work done even when the International Court of Arbitration ruled against the government of Ghana?
Instead of the NPP reflecting on their irresponsible and reckless management of the economy which has brought so much pain to Ghanaians, Yaw Osafo- Marfo and his so called intellectual bankrupt freakoconomic team have rather, unashamedly gone on the rampage to hold press conferences to throw dust into the eyes of the Ghanaian public with their new brand of "poo!! poo!! freak economics" which has no relevance in modern day Ghana political economy.
The New Economy under NDC
The NDC government's prudent management of the economy has been focused not only on the conviction that government has a clear responsibility to build a strong and fair economy but also on the reciprocal duties owed by businesses to society where they operate.
The NDC government under President John Evans Atta Mills will not allow the reckless and greedy behaviour of the few to put tax payers' money on the line to bring down the economy as we experience under the NPP. This means effective and robust regulation; accountability and transparency in all spheres of the economy.
Over the last three and half years, the NDC government has recorded GDP growth rate of 13.6%. The highest in the history of Ghana, which is the envy of Nana Akufo Addo and his Freakonomic team. Ghana has sustained the longest single digit inflation, currently 9.3%, for more than 24 mothns. Over 1700 communities have been connected to the National Grid since 2009; this has increased national electricity coverage from 54% in 2008 to 74% in 2012 in three and half years. Ghana has the highest gross reserves of $4.98 billion, equivalent to more than 4 months import cover; two new universities have been established, one in the Volta and the Brong Ahafo Regions;
Over 1700 schools under trees have been eliminated. The school shift system has completely been abolished in the Greater Accra Region. A National Buffer Stock Company has been established to guarantee ready market for farmers, to ensure stable prices and contribute to food security. In the face of all odds the government has implemented the Single Spine Salary structure which has more than doubled the national wage bill from 2billion Cedis to approximately 5billion Cedis. President Mills has put more money in the pocket of the Ghanaian worker who are better off today than they were under the NPP administration.
The NDC government of President Mills has in the last three and half years created the opportunity economy to ensure that everybody who has the right to work match with responsibility to work if they can. President Mills' government has matched its ambition by putting over 1.7 million people in employment.
There are still too many who do not have a fair chance because the odds are stacked against them. As the President stated in his State of the Nation Address, NDC government's investments will not only create significant employment themselves, but will also support the growth of other industries.
Our choice is a growth strategy to build the jobs of the future and a new age of aspiration and fairness, paying down our national debt in a responsible way and tackling excessive risk taking.
The NDC government will continue to support the economy with its prudent macro and fiscal policies and with overtime, the recovery is assured, the extra spending and the deficit has reduced. The government, like the rest of us, will ultimately live within its means.
The National Democratic Congress will hold true to its social democratic values of fairness, opportunity and social justice. His Excellency, President John Evans Atta Mills will need 4 more years to continue the good work. Vote for Atta Mills in December 2012 Presidential Elections.
Public Relations Officer
NDC UK & Ireland Chapter
Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."