By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
He is not levelling up with Ghanaians, when Dr. Nii Moi Thompson asserts that the "Bank of Ghana is an independent institution that is separate from the Government and carries out its own independent actions" (Citifmonline.com 3/26/14). Even every reasonably well-schooled Ghanaian elementary pupil is well aware of the fact that unlike the Federal Reserve (Bank) of the United States, the Bank of Ghana is the veritable marionette, or play toy, of Ghana's government of the day.
And it can scarcely be disputed that the decision of who heads, or manages, our national treasury decidedly belongs to the extant President of Ghana, with absolutely no input, whatsoever, from our national assembly or Parliament. In our time, as it was with the heydays of the Nkrumah-led Convention People's Party (CPP), the shot-caller, as it were, is none other than President John Dramani Mahama. And going by his relationship with the immediate-past Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Mr. Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, the decision of who heads the Bank of Ghana has continued to be inescapably political.
And this may be significantly answerable for the cause of the country's raging economic crisis. Today, Mr. Amissah-Arthur is the substantive Vice-President of Ghana. He had also, up to the moment of his selection as the running-mate of then-Transitional President John Dramani Mahama, been widely known to have been a card-carrying member of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC). And going back to 1957, the first year of our country's reassertion of its sovereignty from British colonial rule, the Governor of the Bank of Ghana has always primarily served at the behest of our sitting President. The exact same situation prevails in Nigeria, Ghana's closest political ally and rival in the West African sub-region.
And so it is at once rather disingenuous, curious and amusing for Dr. Thompson, a dyed-in-the-wool rump-Convention People's Party operative, to impugn the intellectual and professional integrity of Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, an immediate-former Deputy-Governor of the Bank of Ghana. We must also, once again, quickly point out that it was Dr. Bawumia who headed the blue-ribbon team of crackerjack Ghanaian economists and monetary experts that re-denominated and revaluated the Cedi, our national monetary currency, from the veritable shinplaster that the Rawlings-led National Democratic Congress government had rendered the same by the close of the year 2000.
It is also not clear precisely what he means, when Dr. Thompson, presently described as an economic advisor to President Mahama, means when he asserts that Dr. Bawumia only focused on one aspect of the Single-Spine Salary Structure, to wit, "the wage-bill component" of the latter wage-equity measure. Just what is the second aspect of the SSSS which, in the opinion of Dr. Thompson, was left out of the all-too-comprehensive lecture presented by the 2012 Vice-Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) on the Prampram campus of the Mensa Otabil-led Central University College, headquartered in Accra?
The fact of the matter is that the State University of New York (SUNY)-educated Dr. Thompson lies through his proverbial teeth when he rather cavalierly and dismissively claims that the Mahama government has already begun implementing most of the managerial solutions proposed by Dr. Bawumia, among them the imperative need to stanch revenue leakage or defective tax-collection system, the Mahama government's seemingly inordinate addiction to loan contracting, and abject theft and corruption among the executive membership of the same.
If, indeed, such reparative measures are already in effect, as Dr. Thompson so glibly claims, then precisely how long have these measures been operative? And, also, why do these measures not seem to be having the desired impact on our national economy?
He may pretty much know where his proverbial bread is buttered all right, for this is also another critical aspect of serving as an economic advisor to a sitting President of Ghana, particularly one who knows a diddly little to nothing about the intricate dynamics of managing a national economy, but Dr. Thompson cannot so facilely presume most Ghanaians to be too daft, and stolid, to have fully appreciated the dire implications of the recent concerns raised by leaders and economics experts from such global institutions as the IMF-World Bank, regarding the apparently reckless foreign-loan contractual binges by the Mahama-led government of the so-called National Democratic Congress.
*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Department of English
Nassau Community College of SUNY
Garden City, New York
March 27, 2014
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