03.03.2020 Feature Article

Please, Spare Us The Ordeal; You Want Four More Years To Do What? (1)

John Mahama
LISTEN MAR 3, 2020
John Mahama

In Ghana today, we have politicians in our midst whose well-packed rhetoric only deludes and proselytises millions of unsuspecting Ghanaians.

After attesting to so much political gimmicks and frequent propagation of vile propaganda, many Ghanaians have ceased believing such politicians.

Yes, we do need true leaders. Obviously, we need individuals who have vision, direction, and strength to reach our goals.

In fact, the NDC die-hard supporters' contention that unlike the NPP, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) is an honest political party that presents the truth to Ghanaians at all times is extremely fallacious.

Honestly stating, despite all the harsh economic conditions amidst corruption allegations (bus branding, Brazil World Cup, SADA, SUBA, GYEEDA, SSNIT, NCA, Ford Expedition vehicle, amongst others), the NDC faithful can still go ahead and aim accusing fingers at their opponents of promising the electorate heaven and earth which led to their humiliating 2016 election defeat.

Given the harsh conditions back then, it is boundlessly unconscionable for the NDC loyalists to keep insisting that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) lied their way into power by giving unrealistic manifesto promises during the 2016 electioneering campaign.

It would, therefore, appear that the 2016 humiliating election defeat has unsettled the nerves of the NDC loyalists, judging from their weird posturing.

More so, some of us, as a matter of principle, can wholly understand the NDC teeming supporters for blatantly denying the conspicuous vast improvement in the economy under the able leadership of President Akufo-Addo.

However, it is intellectually incoherent for any economist to gleefully back the seemingly political gimmicks being thrown about by political propagandists.

In fact, I was extremely dumbfounded to hear a certain economist explicating somewhat bizarrely and incoherently that the policies such as the 'IMF Policy Credibility' has contributed to the current propitious economic growth.

Well, whilst I am a stranger in the economist’s world, common sense will tell me that it is only a failed government that will go to the IMF for policy credibility.

Let us, therefore, be honest, if the erstwhile Mahama administration built a solid economic foundation from 2009 to 2015, why did the government run to the IMF for policy credibility sometime in 2015?

Where was the sound economic foundation under Mahama when 14% economic growth in 2011 dropped to 3.4% by December 2016?

How can anyone claim excellence in economic management when single digit inflation was dragged to 15.4% by December 2016?

What do you call a solid economic foundation when the agricultural sector grew in negative consistently?

Where was the favourable economic foundation when the industry sector grew appallingly over the years?

How can anyone beat his/her chest and claim ownership of solid economic foundation when the GDP shrunk from $47 billion in 2011 to $40 billion by December 2016?

Where was the sound economic management when the erstwhile Mahama administration spent profligately and invariably raising Ghana's debt from $9.5 billion in 2009 to a staggering $122.4 billion by December 2016 with a little to show for?

Where was the solid economic foundation when former President Mahama unabashedly claimed that his administration had edaciously consumed all the meat on the bone?

For argument sake, if Akufo-Addo's government is building on the 'solid economic foundation' by the previous NDC administration, can Mahama also tell the good people of Ghana whether he was able to build on the late Prof. Mills' legacy?

The fact of the matter is that the late Mills left a sound economic growth of 14% and Mahama wilfully reversed it to 3.4%; the late Mills left the agricultural growth of 7.4% and Mahama dragged it to 2.5%; the late Mills single digit inflation was reversed to 15.4%; GDP of $47 billion shrunk to $40 billion by Mahama.

The overarching question then is: if it is, indeed, possible to build on the good works of one's predecessor, why did Mahama fail to do so?

Evidently, the current favourable economic outlook is not down to any efforts by former President Mahama, but it is as a result of the NPP government economic team's prudent economic management.

Verily, no economist can convince some of us that the reduction in interest rate is not a factor in the economic upsurge.

To be quite honest, we do not need any economist to tell us that the removal of numerous nuisance taxes is a contributory factor in Ghana's auspicious economic outlook.

No economist can tell us that the well-accepted policies and programmes such as planting for food and jobs, planting for export and rural development, rearing for food and jobs, one million dollar per constituency, one district one factory, one dam one village and tax reductions have not contributed to the favourable economic growth.

If we stroll down memory lane, three years after former President Kufuor's NPP government had worked tirelessly and discovered oil in commercial quantities, the NDC government led by the late President Mills only had the easiest job of turning on the valve at an offshore platform in December 2010 to pump the first commercial oil.

Ghana rightly associated itself with the petroleum exporting countries. And believe it or not, Ghana started to export crude oil which boosted the economic growth.

The economy grew favourably from around 8.4 per cent to around 14 per cent by 2011 and Ghana subsequently reached the lower middle-income status.

Ghana's GDP grew exponentially from $28 billion to a staggering $47 billion by 2011.

Ghana was then cited as the world’s fastest-growing economy in 2010 (Economy Watch, 2010).

To his credit, though, the late President Mills continued to improve upon the excellent economic foundation laid by former President Kufuor and his NPP government.

President Mills mysteriously departed from life in July 2012. And per Ghana's 1992 Constitution, then Vice-President Mahama was the next in line to take over the Presidency.

Things regrettably started to fall apart. It went from bad to worse following President Mills' sudden and mysterious death.

Ghana's total debt rocketed astronomically (GH¢9.5 billion in 2009 to GH¢122.4 billion as of December 2016). This was as a result of the unbridled spending in the 2012 election and the numerous corruption scandals involving GYEEDA, SADA, SUBA, bus branding, dubious judgement debt payments, amongst others.

Ghana's economic growth rate was woefully reversed from 14% in 2011 to an incredible 3.4% by December 2016.

The GDP was shockingly reduced from $47 billion in 2011 to $40 billion in 2016).

The exchange rate took an amazing flight from GH¢1.18 to $1 in 2009 to GH¢4.20 to 1 $by December 2016.

The erstwhile NDC administration incredibly reversed the agricultural growth from 7.4 per cent in 2012 to a disappointing 2.5 per cent by December 2016.

But despite the incontrovertible evidence of wilful mismanagement, the NDC loyalists would want discerning Ghanaians into believing that the erstwhile NDC government provided exceptional governance.

It is worth emphasising that Ghana's economic growth regrettably slowed for the fourth consecutive year to an estimated 3.4% in 2015 from 4% in 2014 as energy rationing, high inflation, and ongoing fiscal consolidation weighed on economic activity (World Bank, 2016).

[email protected]

By K. Badu, UK.

ModernGhana Links

Join our Newsletter