Borrowing Undermines Ghana’s Volition for Prioritization

Feature Article Borrowing Undermines Ghana’s Volition for Prioritization
SEP 15, 2018 LISTEN

We being poor as a Nation could neither have been predestined by God nor our ancestral flaws, but it is a deliberate choice which our leaders have undertaken to inflict more pains and worsen the bane of the ordinary Ghanaian. Our historical books had shown the colossal forest reserves and natural resources that are endowed beneath our land, a manifestation of God’s favour on us in His own wisdom.

Africans should have been the richest and most advantageous in the world if its leaders had prioritised the needful. Look, Ghana for instance, is known as the “home of natural resources”; gold, manganese, bauxite, diamond, timber, rubber, hydropower, petroleum, silver, salt and limestone are God given monies which if used well, the today economy of Ghana would not be seen or caught burrowing left-right-centre!

Reminiscing what led to the exploration by the Europeans to Ghana; bartering gold and diamonds while we were busily exchanging mirror and cola nuts due to ignorance. Similarly, God Almighty has denied many of the European countries all these natural resources which make a nation great not because we [Africans] are more ‘nice-looking' than them; we have a black skin and they have a white coloured skin, showing that God’s creation is perfect and not a step to open doors for racism. The Qur'an [17.70] mentioned that God Almighty had “honoured the children of Adam”.

On the face of the pink sheet who should be richer and well resourced? Who should seek for loans and bonds from his brother continent? Who should yearn for grants? Whose infrastructure must be stupendous and with the most current architecture? And whose sanitation must not be shambolic? Whose governmental projects and economic policies must be austere? If these simple questions were given to a class two pupil his rightful answer would be that the crippled economy of Ghana ought to have been rich! It is not credible to attribute our failure to the depletion of our natural resources by the white men some years ago.

The then Candidate and now the vice President of Ghana Dr. Mahmud Bawumia in one of his lectures had said that “I have worked at Bank of Ghana and so I know Ghana is rich, it is because the managers of the economy are incompetent and so all they think is burrowing. The [NPP] if voted for, will harness resources in Ghana. I am telling you we can develop Ghana without burrowing, the money is there”. Yes, Ghana is still rich only if we could be stringent in our volition of prioritizing what is needed first and putting the least at the bottom of our scale of preference! Ideally, it is good to be of the opinion that if Ghana is banned from burrowing from the International Monetary Fund [IMF] and China, would not our leaders make a good use of the natural resources and the internal generated funds? It makes too much sense to side with Ace Anan Ankomah's convictional quote that "brains develop a country and not natural resources”.

Ghana in the days is known to have earmarked some countries for the purposes of mutual relationship and the famous "friends with benefits"; United Kingdom, Canada and Chinese are few to be mentioned. President Akuffo-Addo has just signed onto the $2billion Sinohdro deal in which he reiterated that China is one of the largest trading partners of Ghana, looking at the massive infrastructural development they have or are erecting in Africa at large. It is more ridiculous how legions of great African leaders paraded themselves in China for the sole reason of seeking a financial bondage with the Chinese to speed the development of its economy as if the continent’s only source of income is begging for loans!

In fact, there is a preconditioned thought of governments we have had in the days to prey the world’s fiscal giants, the International Monetary fund [IMF] to secure loans for its defined projects, or grants from their allies and other assistances that come from the friends-with-benefits in the diaspora. The Chinese we are told had also faced dark ages in the early 70s together with the Europeans, but interestingly, in a span of less than 50 years, their economy has boomed which revolutionised their quest for industrialisation and technological advancement.

They have kicked corruption, dissipation, pull-him-down, zero-national plan, parochial cum partisan politics and abysmal performance of most state owned enterprises. China has been able to stand tall above all these factors which have accounted for its success today, so what keeps our leaders from asking for a tit bit from the Chinese? Why is [Ghana] not outsourcing its think-tanks or students from the economics fraternity to China so that they could study the economic foundations of China?

More so, the policies they have put in place to tackle corruption by taking advantage of their internal generated funds and human capital, we mean we cannot ask for these to be made apparent to us? It is true that when Ghana says it is yearning for developments it means waiting for manna and quails to fall from heaven! That is why the internal generated funds are dissipated and our leaders are seen ‘Usain bolting’ to the diaspora for loans and aid just in totality of the same amount of money we have generated internally but had wasted it! Most of the roads in Ghana have been funded by foreign donors or loans were secured to facilitate its construction, let me mention a few; Parliament, not long ago okayed the $150 million loan from the International Development Association [IDA] which would be used to developed the stretch of roads from Tamale to Yendi and Tatale, and also to some feeder roads at Brong Ahafo and some places at the north. There was another loan in the sum of 83.6 million approved by Parliament to the expansion of Pokuase ACP-junction which Government of Ghana is also expected to contribute $11.1 million.

The harrowing aspect of the contention at hand boils down most often to an incomprehensible syndrome of how the economy of Ghana funds its own project shabbily and exorbitantly which impedes the tax payer. For example, when the economy of Ghana had to fund its own project of branding 116 metro buses, it was done at a cost of 3.6 billion, which bled the public purse. Similarly, when government had yearned for Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneur Development Agency [GYEEDA] to support his citizens, it was wrecked by corruptible acts which was unearthed by Manasseh Azure Awuni. Savana Acceleration Development Authority [SADA] paid 32, 498, 000 to ACCIL, to plant five million trees in the savannah zone but could only account for 700000 trees.

Later, it emerged that [SADA] spent 15 million of the guinea fowls but could only account for few birds. These are the few instances in the erstwhile administration before the incumbent President was seated into office but one thing that had permeated through most of our leaders' regime is spending more on the vehicles of public office holders, salaries and accommodation. Almost every public office holder has his own means of conveyance before he is awarded that post but the state provides for him a car which could cost not less than 120,000ghs.

And if 110 land cruisers are bought for almost all the 110 ministers and obviously to other state figures we have, it would mean that more of the tax payers’ money would be drained at the peril of the very basic things that ought to be provided for the ordinary Ghanaian.

In the current administration at the helm of President Nana Akuffo Addo, the issue of Ghana lagging behind if compared to the first class countries has to do with infrastructural impediments and exportation against importation and brazen unemployment. You would wonder why the economy is very poor but has gargantuan amounts of money to extravagantly shower on certain sectors which have become nothing but a debacle. Government expeditiously funded the local banks with the tax payers' money to save the image of our local banks but it landed up in the pockets of some few individuals, which at the same time could have been used to build more schools to sustained the free Senior High School programme and erect more hospitals, but all these essentials were less prioritized.

Another staggering example which accentuates our prioritization defect is the ongoing proposal to demolished buildings which have been built with the tax payers’ money for the construction of a Nation Cathedral. What are we talking about; lots of millions are going to be used to construct this project which the people of Ghana do not need it at this time. The moment our internal generated funds are wasted on the less important things we immediately run speedily to our donors on our knees begging for the things which we could not prioritized. Government has bartered the Atewa forest which underneath it is bauxite, in exchange for the construction of infrastructure. You see, if the internal generated funds were used productively there would be more than enough of the tax payers' money to fund our own project.

According to the China-Africa Research Institute at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies from 2000-2017, the Chinese government has given over 136 billion loans to African government. It is of this scaring research that others believe that the Chinese are embarking on a colonization move whereas African Presidents believe that “nothing ventured nothing gained”. We as a country have allowed whatever we get from outside to decide for us but that has rather positioned us as an amorphous State who knows not what ought to be prioritized. The [IMF] and the Chinese are there so the moment government needs cash he just has to trade the country’s future for ‘something’. That is why the internal generated funds of our economy is misused, not comely prioritized and channel to things we do not now. We would be able to manage our own affairs only to the day that we shall breed future leaders who would cling unto the Nkrumanomics which is simply defined as "The black Man is capable of managing is own affairs".

Libya under the days of the late President Mahmud Gaddafi was very stable looking at how their economy was run. Rwanda after decades of genocide had been able to transformed its economy far better than Ghana which has had freedom since 1957. Today, the English league which is cherished by billions of people across the globe including Africans at the deepest regret of their own. Rwandan is featured on the jersey of the English premiership giant, Arsenal club, with the badge of “Visit Rwanda”. This means that their tourist industry would be boosted as people visit and more internal funds would be accrued which would rev the development of their economy. But for Ghana, we are always waiting for alms, and anytime the alms come, it goes to most of the needed things which we are lacking, and yet we have not taken any clue from that? It is like to say that our independence has not transcended the provision of basic needs. The basic elliptical conclusion is that we are not capable as capable as Dr. Kwame Nkrumah believed.

The Ghana beyond aid is really not a fanfare but an inspirational and a doable one which needs not to be repeated on every campaign platform but must be seen putting into fruition! And running a lean government would plunge us to that end. If we look forward not making things right, we shall continue to use our intended generated funds to buy vehicles for public officers, build needless monuments and our youth and generation to come would grow and cue for voiding faeces, sharing water with animals as well as schooling and seeking for a medical care.

The time has come that we have to besiege the Chinese and the International Monetary fund [IMF] with a petition that they should revoke all agreements and stop fending for us like a baby sucks at her mother’s breast and let us see thenceforth that Ghana would not be able to work things right! Because of our affiliation with fiscal giants that is why we turn to shoot our arrows carelessly.

Ben Carson was indeed absolutely right when he said: “We have been conditioned to think that only politicians can solve our problems. But at some point, maybe we would wake up and recognize that it was politicians who created our problems”.

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